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Nov 28, 2011

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Janet Dulsky

Define the problem in a Point of View (POV): User + Need + Insights. This allows you to look at problems differently and can be a powerful driver of innovation. Create a persona, drive to the deepest needs by continually asking why it is important to the user, and extract key insights from stories about the user experience. Courtesy of the Institute of Design at Stanford.

Natalie Musick

Broaden your market view--Generally, there is an assumed market for your product and users within that market. Some of them buy/use your product, others go with a competitive product. Re-think your market, broaden the boundaries. Who isn’t currently in your market at all? What are their values? And how might your product be tweaked or innovated to reach them? My favorite example of a company that did this is Yellow Tail wine… they created a market for drinkable table wine by appealing to the beer drinkers and non-wine drinkers. This concept and how to go about it is described in Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim.

Use your competition. In addition to user testing your own product, user test competition and use their products. A slightly different experience can evoke a new view on a product, market, or user. Don’t just mimic what the competition is doing, but really think about what they are doing and why. What line of thinking does their feature set expose—i.e. what assumptions are they making about the users and market? Evaluate those assumptions—do they make sense or are they misreading the market and why? Understanding their thinking can help expose your own assumptions (or validate your brilliance).

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