Thursday, September 14, 2006

Empathy is the wellspring of value creation

Using design to create great User Experience ...

"Diego Rodriguez works across the domains of business, design, and technology. He spends his days at IDEO, teaches at Stanford’s d.school, writes a column for BusinessWeek online, and blogs about “the art & science of bringing cool stuff to life” at Metacool.

Especially interesting is his idea that good design isn’t just about products, it’s about the entire business environment. Think Big, a piece he wrote for BusinessWeek, discusses that concept.

All airlines do a good job of flying us safely, but what we remember are tortuous gate delays, rude staff, and the roller hockey nature of the boarding process. An enormous amount of energy has been spent in the design of the elements that enables the physical act of flying, but little has gone into the back-end business processes, which, if thought through from the customer’s point of view, could bring the rest of the experience up to par…The hit rate for new market innovations could be much higher if as much energy was focused on designing for back-end business fit as is typically spent on market-facing expressions.
The piece also discusses how a company can use design concepts like rapid prototyping to improve its entire business process.

Developing a great experience requires us to apply the “rapid prototyping” philosophy from the world of physical product development to the task of designing viable businesses. Running quick experiments is a great way to figure out how, when, and why our new experience offering will make money…

Rather than placing a big bet and swinging for the fence, proceed as design thinkers do, which is to create something quick and cheap, show it to real people, and roll the learning back into the venture. When used as an integral part of the design process of new experiences, iterative experimentation can have a dramatic effect on the viability of whatever ends up going to market. As a case in point, Whole Foods (WFMI) is rolling out bigger new stores in large part because of their greater capacity for experimentation and learning."   (Continued via Signal vs. Noise)   [Usability Resources]

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