Where do you come up with your best ideas? Is it in the shower, while running or sitting outside? Odds are it isn’t at work.
But the good thing is that innovation is a process, not an single event. These tips from Google’s CSI:Lab will help you create a great product step-by-step:
Focus on the user
Creating a product for your users means having empathy. Put aside your assumptions and personal view points, and listen to their needs: the user’s problem is your problem.
To best understand your user’s motivation and feelings, do some research. You can immerse yourself, conduct surveys and focus groups or even look at social media.
Adopt a beginner’s mindset
Don’t judge. Question everything. Find patterns. Be curious. Ask why. A childlike mindset is crucial to finding the creative confidence you need to improve product design.
Shoot for the moon
Rally around a clear, bold and shared mission. Your product should aim to make things 10x better. Start by replacing a “No, but…” mentality with a “Yes, and…” This small change will incorporate optimism that will help you focus on solutions, not problems.
Quantity is greater than quality
Yes, you read that right. The best way to have great ideas is to have lots of ideas. Many will fail, but failure brings you one step closer to solving your user’s problem and creating a useful product.
Get yourself a prototype
Prototypes answer questions and rule out assumptions. You can either work without a prototype and fail slowly, or create a prototype and fail fast.
Creating a prototype helps you answer two fundamental questions:
Do people want your product?
- Would people use it?
- Would people buy it?
- Would people prefer it to other products?
How should it work?
- Can people use this product easily?
- How does the interface feel?
- Do people know where to click?
Remember: The sooner you fail the sooner you can find the right solution – and success.