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Innovation Process

The Innovation Process has been derived from years of experience and knowledge in the research and design of innovative, industry-leading products, services, applications and websites.

The process is the focal point of our Engagement Model and is organized into several distinct phases. Each phase feeds critical information into the next one and builds upon that information to add further detail to the results.

Certain projects will only require a select number of phases and specific number of tasks within each phase, while other projects will require the entire spectrum of the Innovation Process. Depending on your unique situation we tailor each phase to meet your specific needs and requirements.

 

Research and Analysis

Only with a complete understand of your problem space can we begin to create the solution. Depending on your specific problem we utilize the appropriate tasks to investigate the necessary areas of concern.

The Research and Analysis phase is all about data collection and evaluation - where appropriate we gather data on your business models/practices, organizational structure and process, existing products/services/applications, target markets, customers, vendors, partners, and competitors.

The typical activities we carry out during this phase are:

Company Analysis - We talk to your Marketing, Development and Sales stakeholders. We will also talk to your vendors and partners to gain a complete business model understanding.

Deliverable: Report that captures your organizational structure, development processes and business model. The results allow us to identify inefficiencies and misunderstandings arising from your business models and product development processes.

Product Evaluations - We perform expert evaluations and conduct usability testing on your existing product, service, application or website.

Deliverable: Report that reveals the usability strengths and weaknesses of your product. The results allow us to identify areas for improvement with your products usability and ease of use.

Market Investigations - We research your target markets to capture the demographic segments of your customers.

Deliverable: Report that describes the details regarding your target customers such as age, gender, education, training, attitude, income, lifestyle, etc. The results allow us to clearly define the customers in your target market(s).

User Interactions - We observe your current and potential customers via ‘job shadowing’ and interviews to gather critical information that will lead directly to defining the product requirements. We will also create survey questionnaires and conduct focus group activities to gather additional customer information/feedback. At times we may develop a series of stimulus “prototypes” that form the focal point of discussion. Initially these “prototypes” are provocative and designed to elicit both positive and negative reactions. Negative reactions at the phase are expected and desirable as they help narrow the design space for the eventual product.

Deliverable: Report that captures the users’ environment(s), behaviours, opinions and values. The results allow us to determine the critical product requirements for user acceptance and market leadership.

Competitive Analysis - We investigate your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. We also compare every aspect of your product against that of your rival(s) by conducting ‘head-to-head’ competitive benchmarking.

Deliverable: Report that reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor’s design. The results allow us to recommend solutions that ensure your product offering outshines your competitor.

Intellectual Property Identification - We review your product's technology to identify the strategic aspects which may be protected via patent submission.

Deliverable: Report detailing a patent submission strategy that identifies and describes the ‘aspects’ of your technology in such way that allows your intellectual property to be covered in a broad, yet focused manner offering the greatest range of patent protection.

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Framework

In this phase we unify the findings from the individual Research and Analysis phase results into a framework of critical product requirements.

The critical requirements represent the coming together of your Customer, Product and Market requirements to ensure that your product succeeds in the marketplace while fitting into your business objectives.

From these critical requirements we storyboard primary use case scenarios to capture the high-level functional demands of your product. The scenarios allow us to define a seamless framework in which all features and functions can work together. The framework outlines the significant content areas, solution structure and essential elements of your product. Basically, it describes what to build, and gives critical insights into the technical requirements.

Deliverable: Framework Specification and Prototype describing product requirements along with the key interface components and main features and how they interact. The specification expresses the product framework in a common language that describes the requirements in a way that facilitates communication between users, marketing and product development.

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Design Implementation

In this phase we build on the Framework Specification and Prototype to define the final level of design detail for your product.

Essentially, we determine the ‘fundamentals’ of the design solution. We complete the missing details in the framework specification to produce a highly-visual, detailed description of your product’s end-state.

We create every aspect of your product’s design - from the colours used in icons and widgets to the behaviours of interface elements to the exact interaction flow of every feature, button and dialog box.

As we work to define the design details of your product, we keep in close contact with your development team to ensure that no unexpected implementation problems will arise. All of our detailed design solutions are based in the original project vision and guided by the information gathered from the earlier phases of work.

Deliverable: Customer Experience Specification and Customer Experience Prototype - a highly visual, detailed descriptions of the product's end-state providing developers with a way to see everything they need to know in order to build it right. Marketing/Sales groups can utilize the Experience Specification/Prototype to engage customers/partners and generate market excitement long before the first beta product is available.

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Best Practice Guidelines

With the Design Implementation phase nearing completion we can work in conjunction with the appropriate stakeholders to reconfigure the Customer Experience Specification and Prototype into a set of best practice guidelines.

Deliverable: Tailored to stakeholder requirements: e.g. training materials for Human Resources departments; Customer Engagement tools for Marketing; Communications collateral for Media/PR departments.

 

For more information contact us at (819) 665-1278 or via email at info@newopp.ca.

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