The Process of Innovation
Most groundbreaking companies consider design as an engine for breakthroughs. Yet the role that design plays in the whole innovation process, and in the diffusion of the required mindset throughout an organization, is not apparent to all.
Design is a catalyst for innovation and we like to think of it as the “glue” that brings together science, research, marketing, engineering and development.
Carelli Design’s process of innovation is based on work carried out in multi-disciplinary teams. Researchers and marketing analysis teams address the acceptability and desirability of a concept, engineers have an insight into its feasibility, business and brand consultants look at how the proposition fits into the client’s current and desired brand positioning. Designers, of course, provide the “glue” for it all.
Envisioning New Strategic and Creative Directions
Our innovation process starts by using research results, gathered from the socio-cultural experts as well as technology and business-industry perspectives, to define the framework for envisioning new strategic and creative directions. This is what Carelli Design calls “future imagineering.” In addition to new product ideas, clients increasingly ask Carelli Design to create new propositions involving services and marketing concepts, many of which are now web-based.
The research phase is followed by a creative phase in which everything is possible. We hold workshops and invite creative thinkers, specialists and visionaries who can quickly absorb and transpose a multitude of inputs. What makes these sessions so rich and interesting is the composition of the team, the presence of people from very different backgrounds and origins. The ideas are screened according to criteria previously established with our client. Concepts need to answer people’s current and future needs. They also need to accurately fit into our client’s brand strategy while simultaneously be technologically feasible. The innovation process is not only about envisioning the future—it’s about making it happen. This is where many design houses fall short of their clients’ needs and expectations.
The chosen ideas and strategic directions are then translated into actions. This is the implementation phase, the “making it happen” phase of our process. Proposals can be developed into working prototypes or translated into video scenarios or storyboards that illustrate how they work in real life. Whatever means chosen, ideas come to life in the eyes of our client.
The Inevitable Comprehension Gap
A key part of “making the future happen” is communication, particularly for technology companies. Innovation and communication are inextricably linked in the road to success. Traditionally, there is a comprehension gap between the designers and engineers who understand technologies at an early stage and the public who can only accept or reject them. This gap—the one between internal awareness and societal readiness—highlights a common problem for technology companies as a whole. By effectively demonstrating ideas via an appropriate means, such as working prototypes or video scenarios, Carelli Design’s communication process can help bridge this inevitable comprehension gap.
People’s needs are at the center of the Carelli Design creative process from the very start. Products and services are imagined as a total user experience, taking into account interaction and the context of use, rather than functions alone. In this way, new solutions are not only possible but also relevant—from the social, anthropological, and personal point of view.
The Process of Innovation