Psychology of Design: User-Centric Innovation
The recipe for an effective corporate innovation strategy includes many ingredients. However, the psychology of design and the ability to develop ideas that strike a chord with the intended audience stand, out as one of the most vital features.
If you are committed to developing a better corporate innovation program, it will be necessary to understand the role of conscious science and user-centric innovation. Let’s take a closer look.
What is cognitive science and user-centric innovation?
Cognitive science is defined as an “interdisciplinary, scientific study of the human mind and its processes. It examines the nature, tasks, and functions of cognition”. It delves into an array of human habits including perception, language, memory, attention, reasoning, and emotion.
User-centric innovation is defined as "a process of ongoing design in which designers focus on consumers and their needs, supported by a variety of research techniques to create highly usable and accessible products." This is viewed as a direct contrast to the traditional manufacturer-centric innovation programs that were the mainstay for years. In many cases, it extends to the concept of letting users innovate for themselves.
5 reasons cognitive science and user-centric innovation are vital
Before making the transition away from manufacturer-centric innovation, though, it’s important to appreciate the benefits. This will provide the driving force as you update your program. Here are five reasons why embracing this modern approach is essential:
1. User-centric innovation gives users a voice
User-centric innovation creates a more open approach that involves users in the process. The My Starbucks Idea saw the coffee company ask consumers for their ideas and managed to turn these into several winning innovations. This is a great example of how users often know what they want. When your organization responds to its best ideas by actively turning them into implementations, it can yield remarkable results. It also helps users (employees and consumers) feel closer to the organization’s efforts.
2. User-centric innovation guides intrapreneurs
Intrapreneurship becomes accessible with the right tools, especially when organizations are committed to avoiding restrictive bureaucratic behaviors. A customer-centric approach to innovation ensures that all intrapreneurs are focused on customer desirability and contextuality, which will highlight good and bad ideas . Crucially, it removes the destructive impacts of having to seek approval from decision-makers at every step of the journey while failures become learning opportunities on the path to success.
3. Cognitive science predicts future habits
When looking at the different types of innovation, an emphasis on incremental innovation often establishes the quickest path to market. When using cognitive science and visualized data analytics collected from your customers, it becomes easier to spot trends and predict user behaviors. When combined with KICKBOX’s ability to test concepts and accelerate the prototyping phases, the company can quickly identify the innovations that are capable of satisfying new consumer habits.
4. Consumers have high demands
Modern consumers are more demanding than ever before, and only innovative brands can meet those expectations. Frankly, a user-centric approach to innovation is the only solution. The engagement, ability to give users a voice, and openness to change also opens the door to an iterative mindset in which employees continually strive to improve both new and existing products. In a rapidly evolving landscape where the competition for customers is greater than ever, this is the only way to survive and thrive.
5. It promotes collaborative efforts
Collaboration is vital to innovation as it allows ideas to be developed using shared knowledge. In traditional settings, employees resist collaborative works due to a lack of psychological safety and a fear of not being acknowledged for their input. With user-driven innovation, though, “individual users do not have to develop everything they need on their own: they can benefit from innovations developed and freely shared by others”.
This is because innovation becomes focused on the customer and directed by cognitive science while tools like KICKBOX also record and reward each step of the journey. In turn, all employees are acknowledged rather than just the person that came up with the big idea.
Embrace cognitive science and user-centric innovation with KICKBOX
A user-centric approach to innovation will provide benefits for employees and consumers alike by improving the quality and quantity of new ideas and innovations. For the best results, though, you must also give intrapreneurs the tools to thrive. KICKBOX allows the intrapreneurs to work on concepts at the time that is convenient for them while also using various templates and frameworks to effectively develop new products.