New technologies are flooding the world, AI, VR, Blockchain, bots, edge computing and so on are regularly featured in blogs, articles and more. If you look at the Gartner Hype cycle you can’t but help thinking that the technological development is outrunning our imagination. When you take a closer look at those articles and blogs you see applications of new technology that you would have never foreseen. A question that is keep popping up is the value add for clients and end users. But besides all the technology wanderlust, in the end there is only one real question left…
“How to turn the meaning of new technology into new money?”
Today’s tech challenge
In a lot of boardrooms, this is a very big challenge. Because: “How do you use new technology in products and services that are beneficial for our clients and they are willing to pay for?” One key element is the need to question yourself on the following: “Are we client driven or technology driven?” Many companies these days are tech driven and, often fail in first instance. The problem with companies that put technology as their main driver, is that applying new technology is a goal in itself. The point of that is that it is not serving any company or customers issues or ambitions.
Today’s tech opportunity
The companies that do succeed, typically apply techniques that are derived from organisations that have an extreme customer focus (customer obsessed) and apply techniques like strategic design (design thinking, customer journeys, etc.) to reframe their thinking. The main driver to use these techniques is that the focus is more and more towards human centric design (HCD). But what is Human Centric Design. We would like to quote a line our of a brilliant piece from the Guardian called: “Why Human Centric Design matters”
“Steve Jobs once asserted, “True innovation comes from recognizing an unmet need and designing a creative way to fill it.” While he may not have been specifically referring to human centered design, you’d be forgiven for making the assumption. After all, the purpose of human centered design is to create innovative products, services and solutions through creative and collaborative practices.”
So how can digital transformation tools help you discover new applications for all these emerging technologies to apply Human Centric Design?
Building ground zero
The first step to apply Human Centric Design is by applying Digital Transformation tools to build ground zero. By applying the key principles of Design Thinking (Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test) you put yourself in the shoes of the customer/ end user and force yourself to reframe the initial question/ problem/ issue. It helps you identify why and for whom you are designing. Doing this from multiple viewpoints (reframing) will provide you with new insights and (sometimes) unexpected views of the initial problem.
Get ready for impact…
The second step is to point every single resource in putting Human Centred design to work. This method, originally developed by IDEO (ideo.org), turns imagination in to real solutions. By going through Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation steps you turn deep insights into human needs (empathy) in to multiple ideas, designs or prototypes to life and eventually to market. A key aspect to this is continuous learning in all of the phases.
Human Centred Design resulted in Impact
By applying deep learning and understanding your customers from the start, you maintain the ability to quickly adapt these learnings to what you are designing and building. As a result you will build a successful product or service since you have, throughout the process, kept the people you are doing this for at the heart of the process. By doing that the meaning of Human Centred Design is applied and you created meaningful innovation. Innovation, not driven by technology but driven by the people who are using it every day, using it to increase welfare and that is innovation as well companies as humans are willing to pay for.
Happy innovating, Bob & Rick
Biographies of the writers
Bob Ickenroth – Is lead digital consultant at inspearit Netherlands. In this role, Bob is responsible for assisting companies in their transformation towards a more digital self. He is a coach, consultant and trainer in topics such as innovation, business and IT alignment and value creation with the customer at heart. Bob has over 20 years of international experience bridging the gap between business and IT. More information about Bob can be found on his LinkedIn page.
Rick Bouter – is a consultant Emerging Technology within Accenture’s Consulting practice. Within his role, Rick helps companies to understand the impact of new and emerging technologies and how to apply them to create impact for their clients. In his spare time Rick writes articles about innovation and trends such as, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and others which can be found on his website: www.rickbouter.com. In particular, the impact of new technology on human, ethics and economics are topics that appeals to him. You can contact Rick via his LinkedIn page.