2019 Design Thinking Survey Reveals Vision Gaps (Plus 3 Ways to Overcome Innovation Breakdown)
We surveyed attendees at the 2019 IQPC Design Thinking conference in Austin, Texas about design and innovation competency within their organizations. Our goals for this drive-through research study were to better understand:
- What causes design and innovation breakdown within established organizations
- How to empower change agents to usher in widespread design transformation
>> Check out our top 3 takeaways from the 2019 IQPC Design Thinking conference in Austin, Texas.
Design Thinking Field Survey: The Vision Gap
Survey results indicate that shared vision across all pillars of product development is the missing link for many organizations pursuing design transformation.
The majority of respondents expressed that not only do their organizations lack strong design vision, they also struggle to integrate design into their overall product development process.
92% of respondents expressed some lack of confidence in their organization’s design vision.
Only 8% are very confident in their organization’s design vision.
37.8% believe design is not well-integrated into their overall product development process.
62% of teams feel design is somewhat integrated in their product development process.
72.4% of teams understand the importance of empathizing with their customers.
70% feel their product development team is aligned with their business goals.
The majority of attendees included vice presidents, c-level executives and directors in design, innovation and customer experience fields. A variety of industries were represented at the conference, including financial services, public sector, healthcare, technology, entertainment and consumer goods.
Learn more about who attended the 2019 Design Thinking conference here.
Drive-through research is a simple survey method that relies on voluntary foot traffic and self-guided responses. As crowds of conference attendees roamed the area surrounding our research booth, interested participants stepped up to answer four key questions:
- How well do your teams understand the importance of empathizing with your customer?
- How aligned is your product development team to your business goals?
- How integrated is design in your product development process?
- How confident is your organization in their design vision?
It appears that participants standing outside our research booth during the survey may have given slightly more truthful answers than those standing inside our booth near the research team. Data from participants surveyed inside the booth depicts a significantly more flattering reality than the same data collected from participants who had nobody watching them answer.
Human-Centered Product Development: How Designers, Developers & Businesses Work Together
Working together around common vision is critical for consistent and effective innovation. Learn how design, development and business objectives lend equal weight to human-centered design vision.
3 Ways to Overcome Innovation Breakdown
Innovative efforts can break down due to a lack of buy-in across an organization. Here are three tips for change agents seeking to cultivate buy-in around shared vision:
1. Teams must collaborate, not only in implementing design vision, but in discovering design vision.
Include key stakeholders and leaders from across the organization in vision-discovery sessions.
- Generate buy-in by allowing them to witness the evolution of design vision.
- Encourage collaboration and balance by inviting them to weigh in with technical insight early on in the vision stage.
2. Clarify the vision.
Organizations who lack confidence in design vision may discover that their vision has not been fully articulated. Unclear vision results in murky communication and hesitant support.
To clarify vision, start with simple design thinking techniques like these practical user research activities.
>> Find out what you don’t know through early user research. Learn more about the 3 Keys to Practical User Research for New Products.
3. Prove the vision.
Sometimes vision is clearly articulated but unproven. It’s difficult to earn buy-in for vision that’s based on hypothesis.
Even a minimal amount of usability testing and user research can suffice to prove vision and create alignment. (Learn more about UX design services built around research, not guesswork.)
5 Tools for Fostering Practical Innovation
Ignite your organization on a path to innovative culture and design transformation. Simple skills, from guerilla research to helpful sketching exercises, can be easily learned and taught for wide impact across an organization.
These 5 design thinking methods prove innovation doesn’t have to be costly or burdensome.
>> Access tools and ready-to-use templates. Download the 2019 IQPC Design Thinking conference presentation and field manual.