So I'm half watching the TV last night and I look up during a
commercial for Ford automobiles, and they are talking about their new
navigation system and the guy in the commercial (or an actor claiming
to be) says something along the lines of, "I design the user
interface. I like taking hard problems and making them simple for
people to use."
Needless to say, I almost fell out of my chair. Anyone else seen this
There is an interesting article on the business week site regarding the US governments initiative to develop a metric for innovation. It will likely bemore of an economic indicator, but may well lay the ground work for corporate and academic metrics as well.
Peter Drucker said the only two investments in a business are markeitng and innovation. Everything else is a cost.
In the short run, I think innovation metrics within an organization will be focused on controlling expense. In the mid run it will be about measuring ROI.
I was selected to be one of the organizer of my company's engineering
off-site this year and one of the themes is "Innovation" - a whole day
is dedicated to it. I am currently the only UEx designer with the
company. The discussions of innovation will revolve around many
topics: technology, process, business and hopefully interaction
"never fail user expectations" is often repeated in the User Experience
fields. Consistency is important, but what about innovation? New ways of
interaction assumes that some or all of the expectations of the user will
fail. If the new interaction may work better than the old one, why not try
it? If indeed this new interaction is better, it is possible only because
the "never fail user expectations" idea was ignored.
A case in study is the Wii-mote. In the interview Iwata Asks...
"How do you generate profitable innovation? Business schools and
executive education programs have been hard at work for decades
churning out numbers-oriented, metric-measuring, linear-focused
executives who are much better at managing costs than managing
Here is something to look into, for anyone who cares about having
an inventor's mind - TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving),
a methodology for creative engineering design developed in the
1960s. This is one of the great timeless things, similar to
McLuhan's "Understanding media" and Ashby's "Introduction to
cybernetics". TRIZ has a fairly solid background - it took
200,000 patents to analyse to discover and describe how innovation