Stop Pretending, and Start Innovating

I saw a really interesting position listed on the vacancies list called Head of Innovation the other day. I love the idea of innovation and I have sometimes been called ‘innovative’ and it got me thinking, if that were me, what would innovation need to thrive? Innovation doesn’t just happen, I don’t suppose. It needs certain parameters to happen. But what might those parameters be? Too restrictive and innovation is stifled. Too broad and nothing ever gets done. So what are the components of innovation? Well, here are my ideas:

 

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Eight Things I’d like to see in iOS 8

It’s Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014 next week, so I thought I’d join the speculation bandwagon and propose eight things I’d like to see in iOS 8.

1. Actionable email

Trash or More?…that’s not enough. Why can’t we swipe across an email and bring a whole host of option icons like trash, flag, move, calendar, remind me later (a la Mailbox or Dispatch)? Email is boring enough as it is, and so often requires an action, so why not bring it to life a bit and make it work?

 


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What Can Yahoo! Teach Us About Presentee-ism?

There has been a very positive shift in working culture over the past few years that has encouraged employees to work from home more often – living the flexible working mantra, and understanding that being in a physical office (or not) does not necessarily mean that you are at work (or not!). I take advantage of this enlightened approach and work from home often: the technology allows me to access everything exactly the same as in the physical office, and I am judged not on my attendance in the office, but what I achieve in my role. Great…I thought.

 

I was a big fan of this approach. Recently, however, I’ve started to consider (or notice) if presenteeism (being at the office all the time) can in fact lead to better results. And the thing that made me consider this is Yahoo!

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First doesn’t = best

Sure, there are plenty of occassions when first = best…races and the like. First-past-the-post and all that.

But there are many times when first really doesn’t equal best. For me, this was most recently brought to focus when Samsung launched their Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Amid all the hype of smart watches and wearable tech, it was Samsung who brought a product to market first.

The smart watch with one-day battery life…that got there first

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Is this the best design of the 21st Century so far?

I’m a massive Apple fan and therefore a massive fan of legendary British designer, Sir Jonathan Ive .

There are so many pictures of Jony Ive, this one makes me laugh…but he is good

One of my favourite quotes from him is:

“We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense,” he explains. “Our products are tools and we don’t want design to get in the way. We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we’re trying to order the products.

“I think subconsciously people are remarkably discerning. I think that they can sense care.”

Great design is design where the user instinctively knows what to do with it. It is, in Jony Ive’s words, inevitable. All design leads the user to action – whether that be to sit on a beautifully crafted chair, hit a nail with a solid hammer or move something with wheels. But how often do you, as the user, feel forgotten about? Like the product you’re using is one of millions, made impersonally, isn’t easy to use, uncomfortable, cheap, or you just have no idea what on earth you’re supposed to do as a result of this piece of design. Nasty. Poorly designed.

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