Design Thinking – Experimentalism
Kyle Maxey posted on November 16, 2012 |

Most Product Concept Development cycles don’t take an experimental approach at their outset, and the results are evident.  Products are only incrementally better than the previous model or a competitor’s.  And marketing has to turn up the promotion machine to call them  “new” and revolutionary.  To break free from this incremental approach, consider an Experimental method into your Product Development cycle. 

So what is Experimentalism?  

Put simply, Experimentalism is an approach that says incremental tweaks to a design don’t dramatically increase a products value.  To dramatically increase a products value designers must look at the big picture and find profound innovation by addressing larger questions about their products role in the world.

Here are a few keys to getting started.

Keys to Successful Experimentalism

1. Motivate – There’s nothing that will stifle innovation more than having a team that is reluctant to contribute.  Building a positive collaborative environment will help your ideas today, and improve all of your Product Concept Development processes in the future.

2. - Ideate without Reserve - If you’ve got an idea that can help your product concept move forward don’t hesitate to bring it to the team. You can always learn from ideas that take you down the wrong path, but you are stalled if there aren’t any ideas coming.

3. Proto-type – Invest in prototyping.  Getting models in your hands quickly can be one of the biggest advantages when it comes to diagnosing design issues.  Models also allow you to “play” with your product and find new imaginative ways for it to be modified and used.

Making use of the three steps above can help your team explore new idea and find the solutions that will lead to more innovative products.  

This article is part of a series on Design Thinking that includes posts on EmpathyCollaboration and Integrative Thinking.


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