Companies can no longer rely solely on technology breakthroughs and incremental product development. Effective differentiation and real added value for the consumer are achieved by incorporating end-user insights in product innovation. This takes on an added significance when designing solutions for the emerging connected, digitally enabled world.
Innovative solutions today increasingly address a complex web in which products, services, technologies and user needs are interwoven. This in turn means that innovation is increasingly dependent on agreements within larger groups of stakeholders. This carries an inherent risk of slowing the innovative process down precisely at the time it needs to speed up in the face of an ever more dynamic and volatile market. Traditional markets are becoming increasingly saturated, educated and brand-wary.
Products and services are increasingly overlapping, everyday products are more intelligent and adaptive, and the focus is on ‘systems' rather than stand-alone devices. Additionally, user needs are evolving over time. Maintaining simplicity and understanding the user in such a landscape becomes a challenge. The industry needs a new kind of industrial design because of these developments. Industrial Design is acting in response to this need. Ideas for innovation can quickly be hampered by technical limitations, incomplete use of user insights or lack of fit to existing business models.