This is where the ideas come from! Here just some of our techniques:
This technique combines market research with idea generation. We start by looking at similar products that do the same job in a different way, then radically expand the solution space – seeking out often strange analogies for your product. We gather information on how other industries have solved your problem… If your product is a food mixer, we might gather information on cement mixers! If your product makes noise, we will research all the bells & whistles. Analogy can stretch beyond industries and into biomimicry. This is a great place to start finding solutions to your problem in nature.
We are sensitive to the effects of psychological priming, and the hundreds of other reasons your user group may not be giving straight answers. If we are lucky enough to be able to spend some time with real users, we might ask them to: document their day (photo or video diary); or talk us through their process of using a certain product. However, the best way to gain neutral user insights, is to be a fly-on-the-wall (with permission!) to observe and record behaviours in an unobtrusive way.
If gaining access to your typical user is difficult, become one yourself. Actors call it going method. Through role play, we can completely immerse ourselves in the lives of typical users and stumble upon the major problems that they would ignore or perhaps take for granted. This is a great place to start, to begin understanding the lives of your users.
Reporting & Presentations
Sometimes it’s good to pause and reflect after the early research phase of a project. You may need to sell new ideas to other departments or directors within your organisation – we’re here to help you do that. When you commission a unique report from us, we will create visually rich documents and engaging presentations – combining insights taken from a wide range of markets, products and users.
The magic of design should not just be reserved for products. Design Thinking is the broad application of our design process across services, systems and organisations. In the same way that we generate insights, realise concepts, test and build solutions for physical products, we can achieve the same results for the more abstract problems your organisation may be facing.
Asking Better Questions
If you aspire to radical change or serious innovation – you must interrogate the brief. Often, the most aggressive opponent to fresh thinking is the wrong question. So, if you ask us to design a kettle – we may suggest that your customers just want hot water.