Task 6: The IDEO Way

A few weeks since my last blog so I thought it would be nice to write something about IDEO – an extremely creative and innovative company from the USA!


IDEO was formed in 1991 in a merger of four different design firms. The companys core business is to help design products services, environments and digital experiences. This far they have developed thousands of products and services for clients around the globe. The special culture and way to work has made the company very interesting in the eyes of myriad academics, businesses and journalists around the world and additionally one of the founders have made a best selling book, The Art of Innovation (Tom Kelley). One of the most famous things IDEO is known for is their innovative rapid prototyping  or the IDEO way.

The IDEO way is a five step process which aims to design better consumer experience.

1. Observation

The idea of the Observation phase is to understand the consumer experience. This is done with the help of people from different fields and backgrounds e.g. psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists. The company uses multiple different techniques to really understand the customer experience which are for example Shadowing, Camera Journals and Storytelling. All of the different methods have their own pros and cons – and usually multiple are used in a single project.

2. Brainstorming

Brainstorming as a concept is probably familiar to most of you dear followers. The idea is to come up with as many ideas in one hour and even really crazy ideas are not limited in any way as many of the unorthodox ideas might be the best ones. The IDEO brainstorming has really strict rules that you can find in the internet if you are interested!

3. Rapid Prototyping

In Rapid Prototyping a prototype of a product is made as fast as possible as it helps everyone to visualize and understand the problem more easily. The prototype is usually crude but the benefits are quite clear. The following is an example of the IDEO Rapid Prototyping: Videography – make short movies to depict the consumer experience.

4. Refining

The second last phase is about narrowing down the possible choices to as few as possible which basically means that of the generated ideas only the best ones are saved and evaluated more closely. For this phase its really good to have all the support from the most important stakeholders as the more decision power is behind an idea the more likely it is a success.

5. Implementation

At the last phase IDEO utilizes its diverse and strong skills all around the world to finish and actually create a product and service. This includes people from over 40 countries which means there is a lot of CREATIVITY and INNOVATION involved!!!

Untill next post!


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