User Centered Innovation
Cycling, Technological innovations, Brainstorming, New products -- Research, Technology -- Management, Project management
Our mission was to come up with innovative ideas to meet the latent needs of urban bike riders.
Our design process to meet our mission consisted of the following phases:
Selecting the Market Phase
Research Phase consisting of three sub phases
- Observing customers
- Walking in customer shoes
- Interviewing customers
Creative Innovation Phase consisting of sub stages
- Pattern Determination
- Idea Selection
Kick starting our project we needed to select a market. As inputs firstly, we had our mission to come up with the innovative ideas to meet the latent needs of the customer and secondly, the bike company to which we would be selling our idea. With this initial information and discussion among the team members (and professor), we came up with the scope and domain of interest and chose commuters and casual riders in the Portland City area as our primary area of study and research.
Research Phase can be viewed as the Inspiration phase of the process. During this phase, we collected some good insights, which is the key element for good idea generation and innovation. During the Observing sub-phase, we gathered good insights by getting out to the world, observing them, connecting with the things the way we had never done before. As a team, we walked in the customer’s shoes and saw things in their point of view not ours and giving us a sense of empathy. Lastly, we interviewed people with a set of predefined questions to get a more in-depth understanding of their needs.
Creative Innovation Phase is the Idealization phase where we spent most of our time and energy coming up with good ideas. Good ideas fueled from the Inspiration phase drive the Pattern Determination sub-phase and four important themes emerged from patterns observed from the data collected in the research phase. During Idealization sub-phase, each individual and as well as a team, we performed brainstorming using sketch-boards and white-boards to come up with solutions to address the needs mentioned by the customers. Then we moved down from the low fidelity drawings to the high fidelity ones, narrowing down over twenty five ideas into twelve best ideas and coming up with the three final concepts with customer voting. Additionally we choose to perform another step weighing two dimensions of technical feasibility and the client portfolio. This constituted the Idea Selection phase.
Note: The presentation slides associated with this report are included here as a supplemental file.
Rao, Meghana; Vagesh, Nikita; Runde, Neil; and Bhella, Opinderjit, "Urban Bike Product Development Project" (2010). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 790.