Thursday 13 September 2012

Apple's Design Thinking: “Wouldn’t it be cool if”

Rob Wallace of Wallace Church Inc used Apple and their $5500/day turnover/sq ft of floor space as an example of what could be achieved when design is a component of every business decision. Their success, achieved by Design Thinking, is not arbitrary but is a repeatable disciplined regimen which can be applied in many areas. 
·         It is not the result of analytical thinking based on what is known.  It’s the product of “wouldn’t it be cool if” thinking based on several elements:
o   Redefinition of the problem:  Observe, question conventional thinking, redesign and ask “How do the users feel about the product”
o   Create many options: Divergent thinking, many perspectives, don’t rely on a single expert.
o   Refine repetitively:  this convergent thinking stage is followed by prototyping and testing.
o   Execute: make sure the designers are part of the process.  Designers are good at implementing their designs, or to be precise, good at leading the implementation stage.
·         Considering the “How to build a better mousetrap” question, Mr Wallace thought the key questions should be “How do we attract more mice?”, “How do we trap more things?” and  “Does it have to be a mousetrap?”.  He thought 3M’s response to the question would be to invent a better mousetrap, P&G would  trap more things, Apple would attract more mice and  Virgin would forget the mice and start an airline.
·         There’s an unhealthy obsession with New.  250,000 new products were launched in 2011, 30,000 of these being in the USA, and 83% would have failed before the end of 2013.  Most are products of analytical or linear thinking and many are associated with perceptions of consumers unmet needs.
·         Unmet needs attract too much development attention. We should be going for novelty or undiscovered needs.  In fact we should be inventing a new need.  The really successful products prompt an “I didn’t know I needed it” response.  Swiffer mops and the iPad were given as examples of invented needs.
·         Consumers don’t know what they want until they see it and don’t want many things to choose from because excessive choice causes confusion and remorse.  They just want “their choice”.
·         We need to go beyond Features and Benefits to a transformational experience which is real and relevant to the brand.  We need to affect the way consumers feel.
·         Behavioral science’s human perception hierarchy shows people react first to color, then shape, then numbers and finally words.
·         Wallace Church’s Gillette Mach 3 razor campaign ignored the traditional aspects of shaving and focused on faster shaving using a visual mnemonic with a glowing blue color and aerodynamic shape to suggest speed.

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