Innovation Takes Creativity (and Commitment)

Over on TabbForum Paul Rowady, a senior analyst at TABB Group talks about the people behind innovation and how a new role – new for capital markets anyway – is emerging. The creative director.

TabbForum – innovation-takes-creativity (requires a TabbForum account)

This is a great development and can only be a good thing… Speaking as a creative within the capital markets 🙂

But based on my experience I would say that the fertile ground for design innovation needs to exist within the organisation already otherwise planting a creative person in a corporate desert will not bear any innovative fruit.

The various planes needed for successful interactive product design. From: Jesse James Garret, The Elements of User Experience (an old book and image but still easy to relate to and understand).

I don’t think I would call this a ‘coat of paint!’ as you can see in the diagram above, the surface plane is only the ‘face’ of the customer experience. For an organisation to benefit from true creativity and innovation a deeper appreciation of the power of strategic design thinking is needed – only then can you begin to fully engage your customers.

I have experienced the fact that companies ‘think’ they need a ‘graphic designer’ to create their Single Dealer Portal, this is a very shallow and cosmetic understanding about both design and creative thinking.

Strategic design doesn’t start with wireframing!

It starts with deep organisational commitment to both change and customer centricity.
Building on this commitment, a period of discovery is needed including deep dive contextual design research that informs the product direction based on the needs of REAL end users.
This research is then synthesised into design insights feeding strategic product design decisions.

Getting this right makes product development quicker in the medium term and reduces the overall risk involved in developing new products.

Otherwise, as Paul Rowady states you will just end up with ‘eye candy’. When the sugar rush has gone, you will be left feeling empty… or even worse your customers will.

More reading on Strategic design

Tim Brown from IDEO on Fast Company

Helsinki Design Lab

There are 5 interesting observations of strategic designers over on design sojourn:

  1. They are great zoomers!
  2. They know the design process like the back of their hand.
  3. They are able to do everything.
  4. They also know that they don’t have to do everything.
  5. There is “no job too big or too small”.

2 Responses

  1. […] Innovation Takes Creativity (and Commitment): I read this on Monday with great interest as I don’t see enough posts by creative people working in the financial services tech industry. Written from a UX POV, the author makes the point that a creativity and innovation supporting environment needs to exist before you throw a creative into it – otherwise you won’t reap what you sow. In this case, the post is about starting the design process behind trading portals in the FX space, but the same sentiments could easily be applied to the idea of planting a social media B2B marketing person in a corporate space – the support for creative and innovative working methods needs to be in place first.  […]

  2. Great reead

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