What is Experience Led Innovation?
My colleague Carolyn Parkinson has written a good post to break down and explain what we mean by Experience Led Innovation. This is a big area of expertise for WMG, and will feature in our new funded project for SMEs running out of the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation. See below Carolyn's post.
"What is Experience Led Innovation?
Is this something new? Or a new way of saying something old? Why do we need to know about it?
Let’s start by talking about what we mean by this. Experience Led Innovation (ELI) is an approach to innovating which seeks to put the user’s experience at the centre of the process for all types of product and service innovation. Experience Led Innovation pulls together a number of approaches to innovating, including human factors engineering, participatory design, and experiential engineering.
Previous terminology which has been used includes User-Focussed Design, but personally I find this term somewhat limiting. Very often there is not one individual who represents the target of the innovation - but picturing this individual is a technique often encouraged in design and marketing contexts. A more rich and informative source of input for the innovation process is to better understand the experience of the users.
Why is this distinction important? People behave in unpredictable ways, and often do not interact with a product, service or environment in a logical or expected way. They have emotional responses to using products and environments. Look, sound, and feel all influence the way users experience and interact with an innovation. Very often their interaction with a product or service takes place at a subconscious level, so asking a user to articulate or predict their needs is less valuable than observing real experiences, emotions, and behaviours as a product is developed.
I am fortunate to work with an excellent team of researchers and knowledge transfer specialists in this area. From our perspective, the key features of Experience Led Innovation include:
- Taking a cross-discipline approach to understanding user aspect of innovation – at WMG our team includes psychologists, engineers, computer scientists, marketers, ergonomists, and designers.
- Accepting that technology innovation cannot occur in isolation from understanding real world user behaviour.
- Participation and engagement with users early and often in the innovation cycle, closing the gap between post market data and early stage design requirements.
There are an enormous number of applications for this approach… but more of that later. In the mean-time find out more about Experience Led Innovation at the following links:
Experience Led Innovation at WMG, University of Warwick: www.warwick.ac.uk/go/iipsi"