What do shopping trolleys, Free Willy and the mouse for the Apple Mac have in common?
It’s the stunning process that IDEO used to design these, well sort of, every day items. Some people may have a need for an every day killer whale. Granted, not everyone.
IDEO is one of the hero companies of Silicon Valley. It has turned design and innovation into an art form that many envy, but few can copy. Unless you are a designer or work in customer based research, you may not have heard of this remarkable company.
This one company has designed many of the every day products that we use, so technically it is an industrial design business. But one that has become the envy of many an entrepreneur.
In this video, ABCNews in the US, challenged IDEO to redesign the shopping cart in just five days. At a high level, you will get to understand the design process. It can be applied not just to designing products, but also solving problems and testing theories.
This video is about three years old. Some of the design features IDEO created in this made-for-television challenge are now incorporated into newer shopping trolley design. So, it goes to show how a group-think approach, a no-holds barred creative thinking process coupled with real-life customer observations can create true innovation.
One of the mantra’s at IDEO, sums it up nicely:
Enlightened trial and error succeeds over the idea of a lone genius.
If you’re feeling inspired, you could do worse than to read Tom Kelley’s book, The Art of Innovation.