HOW DESIGN THINKING DELIVERS “HARDER WORKING PRODUCTS”
Your products are your ambassadors in the field. Controlling how hard these products work for you is key to driving growth and achieving a sustainable ROI across the product’s lifecycle. But how do we control whether these representatives are hardworking or lazy? Hardworking products are the result a balanced product development approach underpinned by the strategic interaction of Design Thinking and multidisciplinary teams.
What does a” hard working” product look like?
- It is efficient to develop.
- It has built-in defendable IP so that it can fend off impersonators.
- Its aesthetics differentiates it from the competition and enhances your brand.
- It is intuitive, minimising the risk of use errors.
- It delights by identifying the true user and meeting their real-world needs.
- Its desirability maximises market share and margin.
- It has been built to be reliable and is demonstrably effective in its intended use.
- It has been developed along the regulatory path of least resistance.
- It is efficient to manufacture at volumes to optimise unit cost.
- Its features are informed by a lifecycle strategy including plans to develop hardworking successors.
So how does Design Thinking improve your products? By weaving a Design Thinking model into the development process you empower the development team to think holistically and to challenge false assumptions. Design Thinking objectivity probes the products viability from a business perspective, feasibility from a technology perspective and desirability from a user perspective. Adhering to this simple mantra ensures that the development program is balanced during all phases and that the user’s needs are considered with the same level of respect that we give to the harder edged considerations of technology, business and compliance.
This balanced approach may seem obvious, but the reality is that we all arrive at NPD (New Product Development) programs with our own biases so we need to actively manage these biases. For marketing teams and industrial designers this can be an emphasis on user desirability at the expense of all else resulting in the progression of lazy products that on the surface appear hardworking. An engineering bias can come in the form of an over attachment to the core technology, whether it is appropriate to the market or not. Clinician inventors can be too close to the perfect clinical solution and too far from the commercial realities. Financial controllers can have the opposite problem, with the optimal solution lying somewhere in between.
So how do we make “harder working products” a reality? Most importantly we need to put in place multidisciplinary teams that collaborate from the very outset of the project. For managers of the process it is critical to develop an awareness of the interaction of these disciplines over time. Each team member needs to continue to bring their own values to the table, but this should be tempered by an appreciation of the need for a holistic solution by always seeking to balance the Design Thinking model.
In the medical device industry’s understandable focus on science, technology and quality, the importance of singling out the designer from the engineer can be overlooked. In Synecco, our designer’s role is to control the reaction of the users and buyers (confidence, intuitiveness, feel, aesthetics, brand, messaging, reaction under stress, ISO 62366) and our engineers role is to control technology and processes (medical procedures, mechanisms, design for manufacture, process variability, performance testing, ISO 13485). Considering these two disciplines in this way, will allow you to deliver harder working products for an increasingly competitive world.
REQUEST A MEETING with one of Synecco’s in-house experts in usability experts, industrial designers and engineers by contacting us today.
ABOUT SYNECCO STUDIO
Synecco Studio is an award-winning, IP generating Team of researchers, usability experts, industrial designers and engineers who are passionate about how great products deliver commercial success. Our goal is to help visionary clients deliver sustainable success by creating product solutions that work harder for you in an increasingly competitive world.
Synecco Studio combines with Synecco Contract Manufacturing to provide seamless end-to-end design, development and manufacturing and supply chain services to the medical device industry.