Usable Innovation

Post Written By Pivot Design Group

“No-one should have to suffer through products and services that get in their way. People should not be made to feel stupid by technology.”
–worldusabilityday.com 2015

This year’s theme for World Usability Day is Innovation. A theme that, in the design industry, could actually be talked about a little less, in our humble opinion! It seems every board room meeting wants to discuss how we can “innovate” a product or service. There are even entire company roles being created for the task: “Hi, I’d like you to meet ‘So-and-so’, Director of Innovation.”

In the field of User Centered Design (UCD), Pivot has a tried and trusted process, that means we’re no stranger to bringing innovative ideas to the table. But it’s not through usability guidelines alone. Familiarity, Discoverability, Recoverability, Simplicity, and Availability — to name a few — are all well documented principles in the field of usability, but simply following the rules will only get you so far. In influencing a user experience, there is a certain amount of magic that, when coupled with the methodical, can bring you to a truly innovative and yet still useable solution.

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Innovation does not need to come at the expense of usability.

This “magic” doesn’t just happen instantly — with the bar of customer expectations increasing higher and higher with every new product and service release, there is an ever higher risk of losing engagement. Naturally, organizations call for “more innovation”! So by all means, innovate away! But at the end of the day, remember that innovation does not need to come at the expense of usability. Find a balance of the analytical and the intuitive (the methodical and the magical) and guide decisions with true user-centered design — your customers will appreciate it!