Digital innovation is the driving force of today’s most successful businesses across the globe. However, with a constantly changing market and fierce new competition, it can be hard to implement and stay ahead in digital innovation. Here at Catalyst UX, we’ve put together a list of our best tips and tricks to ensure that you get it right (get a PDF version of the guide here).
1) Start with a transformative vision, NOT requirements
Many organizations often start product design with detailed requirements when initiating a project. However, this can sometimes hinder innovation. Why? Because, innovation is higher-level and broader than specific requirements. To deliver a truly transformative experience you’ll want to not only clearly articulate your business's value proposition but also the transformative vision for your product, as opposed to detailed requirements. Once an innovation concept is defined, a more detailed analysis can be done on the solution strategy and supporting requirements.
2) Involve real users
Often companies will involve subject matter experts (SMEs), product managers, or department managers, when validating a digital solution. That said, there is no substitute for real users. Why? Because these are the people that will be using the digital solution. They understand the pains associated with daily tasks and can lend the most insight into validating your concept. Be sure to involve users early, ideally every two weeks.
3) Support innovation with data
As frequently as possible, identify data that will support your innovation. This could be the number of users impacted, dollars saved, or other user data. Having this data will help to set “guide posts” for your innovation journey.
4) Embrace rapid iteration
Innovation is a messy, nonlinear process that requires many refinements to end up with true innovation. As opposed to trying to analyze and design the correct solution from the beginning, embrace rapid iteration. To do this, you may have to show users concepts that are not quite complete but which they can respond to earlier in the process. For example, opening discussion early on as to what needs to be enhanced in a product only makes your implementation that much stronger.
5) Think “points of innovation,” not total innovation
For your users, meaningful innovation will typically happen in limited areas. Identify the areas that will have the greatest impact on the business and on users. Focus your energy on these points of innovation.
6) Use small teams
Innovation happens best in small teams. As anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.” Smaller teams are more flexible and can move faster— key components of innovation.
7) Define an minimum viable product (MVP) for the initial innovation
When designing for innovation, you want to build a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers while allowing you to validate your product idea early (MVP). You can then roll out the product in phases and follow up with more innovation later on. This not only allows you to get to market faster, but also ensures that you are focusing on what customers care about.
8) Start the journey— don’t delay
In our experience, in most innovation work, the key is to start the journey— and not to delay. If there is research to be done, be sure to do this while on the journey. But innovation does not happen if there is inaction.
9) Digital innovation is a team sport
The best innovation comes from blending the talents of multiple disciplines including art, technology, human behavior, business, science and often medicine. If your team looks like one for a traditional IT project, you’ll need to do some recruiting. Specifically, you’ll want to supplement IT resources with the other types of multi disciplinary talent who can offer other points of view to your product ideation and completion.
Discover your points of innovation
Ready to bring more innovation to your digital solutions? Set up a complimentary one-hour consultation with one of our experts. We’ll help you identify potential points of innovation within your solution.