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Why Innovation and Design Can't Be Separated

Posted by Caylee Roudebush on 11/6/17 10:00 AM


Innovation is important. Everyone knows this and it's no wonder that it's creating buzz in the enterprise. If an idea isn’t innovative, it could get overlooked and unnoticed. An idea must be achievable, producible, creative, and cost-friendly. It is even better if this idea meets the specific needs of customers or makes a product more reliable or effective. Virtual Reality is a very important and popular example of technology being used for innovation right now and you hear news about it all the time.  Another innovative idea everyone is talking about right now—self-driving cars. Once all the bugs get worked out of this technology, it could signal a huge change for the world.

Another important word in the enterprise is design. When an idea or product looks impressive on the outside, people are more likely to buy it, right?  You wouldn’t buy a house that didn’t meet your needs aesthetically.  But design is more than you may think. It is not simply the outward appearance of the product, it is the way it looks, feels, and works. When all these factors come together, then you have a beautiful design that people will want.  When you think of companies with great designs, what comes to mind?  Apple?  Google?  These are common examples, but for good reason. When a product is innovative and functional but doesn’t have a good design, it is less likely to become popular or lucrative. Design encompasses more than just the look of a product. It is the whole product—functionality, uniqueness, organization. In short, a design is what makes your idea, your idea.

This is why focusing on innovation and design as a whole is key. Think of your iPhone—the interface is attractive, easy to use, and simple in concept. Basically anyone can use an iPhone because of these reasons. It is easy to jump from app to app and can be used in many situations. All of these factors make up a great design for an innovative device that has proved itself over and over. If the same phone was visually appealing but difficult to figure out, would it be so popular? Doubtful.

What about your car? Did you buy it because of just one specific feature? Or just because of the way it looked?  These are all factors, of course, but when you combine all of the features and all of the aesthetics, you get a product that is worth every penny you spend. The same is true for all products and ideas, whether it be a new and disruptive technology or a continuous innovation that just keeps getting better over time. This kind of innovative design will also spark conversation about a product. If something is new and attractive, people talk about it. The more conversation and popularity, the more revenue.

So don’t make the mistake of separating innovation and design—they go together to make a successful product.  These two factors are both important to your ideas and to your business.

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