As the world’s leading design firm, IDEO creates innovative products, services, spaces, and experiences for such companies as Procter & Gamble, Pepsi-Cola, and Samsung, and helps companies build cultures of innovation. IDEO’s renowned multidisciplinary culture and process of innovation have given rise to the Apple mouse, the first laptop computer, the Polaroid I-Zone instant camera, the Palm V, the soft-handled Gripper toothbrush for Oral-B, and hundreds of other standard-setting designs. Since 1991, IDEO has topped Business Week’s list of winners of the annual Industrial Design Excellence Awards, and in 2005, the magazine named IDEO one of the twenty most innovative companies in the world.
IDEO comprises more than 400 multidisciplinary individuals—designers, engineers, human factors experts, and business strategists—who combine to create a culture rich in creativity, expertise, knowledge, and empathy.
– About IDEO – Ten Faces of Innovation
How IDEO Works
According to its official site, IDEO works by identifying new ways to serve and support people, bu uncovering hidden needs, behaviors, and desires. It looks over and envisage new companies, brands, and design the products, spaces, services, and interactive experiences related to the product. IDEO also helps supervising a culture unique to each company, with the internal systems designed to sustain innovation and new ventures.
They have an unique approach: Design Thinking
“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” —
– Tim Brown, president and CEO
Thinking like a designer can alter the way organizations develop products, services, processes, and strategy. This advance, which IDEO calls design thinking, brings together what is enviable from a human point of view with what is technically possible and economically viable. It also allows people who aren’t trained as designers to use creative tools to address an immense range of challenges.
Design thinking is a deeply human process that taps into abilities we all have but get unnoticed by more conservative problem-solving practices. It relies on our ability to be instinctive, to identify patterns, to construct ideas that are expressively meaningful as well as practical, and to express ourselves through means ahead of words or symbols. Nobody wants to run an organization on mere feeling, instinct, and inspiration, but an over-reliance on the rational and the logical can be just as perilous. Design thinking provides an incorporated third way.
The design thinking process is best considered of as a system of overlapping spaces rather than a series of orderly steps. There are three spaces to keep in mind: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Inspiration is the problem or chance that motivates the search for solutions. Ideation is the process of creating, developing, and testing ideas. Implementation is the passageway that leads from the project stage into people’s lives.
Under this system, IDEO uses both diagnostic tools and generative techniques to help clients see how their new or existing operations could look in the future — and build roadmaps for getting there. The methods include business model prototyping, data visualization, innovation strategy, organizational design, qualitative and quantitative research, and IP liberation.