To understand the problem, it’s good to put yourself in the shoes of the user or customer and empathize with them. You can do so by observing, surveying, and embed yourself in the situation.
In addition to understanding the problem from the user perspective, you can explore what are the current solutions available, what technology exists that could be used in solutions and where do they fall short in fulfilling the user needs.
Understanding the problem and need is key to finding the right solution.
Step #2: Ideate
The second step in the innovation process is to come up with as many ideas as possible to address the problem that you are working on. At this stage, there is no right or wrong idea, anything works, no matter how crazy it is.
If you are working in teams, it would be best to have a board or flip-chart and have everyone explain their idea and post it or write it up. This helps trigger new thoughts in others around you.
To come up with more ideas, approach the brainstorming from a technology, user, emotional, functional, business and any other angle you can think of.
At the end of the ideation process, consolidate some of the ideas, remove some of the ideas that have no relevance, and then vote on the best most promising one which you can pursue further.
Step #3: Prototype
The third step in the innovation process called prototyping is where you take the best idea or consolidated group of ideas that you came up with, and turn it into a sample product that can explain and demonstrate to users the idea.
If you’re building a software or app, it would be to come up with the minimum viable product that you can give to users to test.
If you’re building a physical product, you would be able to create a mock of that product representing how that would look in real life.
The aim of the prototype is to get as close as possible to the real product or service that you want to build, without having to spend a huge amount of resources or time doing it.
Step #4: Evaluate and Refine
The fourth step of the innovation process is where you take your prototype, and put it in the hands of users to get their feedback. You can launch a simple marketing campaign to test your user’s feedback and learn from it.
Your role here is to be like a scientist where you observe and document how your users are interacting with the prototype, what is the feedback that they are giving you, what else would they like to see in such a product, what did they like and didn’t like etc..
By collecting all of this feedback, it would allow you to go back to the prototype stage and refine it further and to test it further with users. In some cases, you might come to the realization the product you’re building wasn’t that great after all, and as such you go back to stage one and understand further the needs of the user.
This whole process allows you to very efficiently develop a product or solution that is in line with the needs of your users and which adds value to them.
As a Conclusion,
We hope that through this Guide you would be able to learn what should be done to take your idea to the next level.
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A project manager, she is at the heart of the community relationship activities that involves development projects across the MENA region.