Innovacy and Empathy

October 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

Paul Burns emphasizes the fact that it is difficult to define the word entrepreneurship but he suggests that entrepreneurs welcome change and through new-thinking they see possible openings to a new business. He actually claims that the ability to be innovative and wanting to gamble are key factors to success: ‘Most ‘ordinary people find change threatening. Entrepreneurs welcome it because it creates opportunities that can be exploited and often create it through innovation.’ (Burns, P (2007) Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Second Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire).

I am still like most ‘ordinary people’ and have yet to find change un-threatening. Being introduced to entrepreneur thinking I realize how comfortable it is to play safe, stick to safe grounds and seek stability. Now I, and I am sure all my peers, are being challenged to think in new ways and there might be times of frustration ahead but definitely, and most importantly, we are accumulating skills and experiences that will be beneficial in our innovative and entrepreneurial future.

I find the USER model, introduced by Corrine in her Phd, a good approach to evaluating a specific project or idea. All though it took a while to understand, I now think it will be a great tool to incorporate in our business developments. In human centered design there are three main sources to consider: The Designer (you as ‘designer’), the User (costumer or person using the product) and the Community (family, friends and other (i.e plumber who fix the toilet) who are involved in the creation and/or use of the product. Their behavior will be shaped by Objects (physical features), Rules (finance, natural laws, culture etc.) and Roles (skills and responsibilities). Through a cycle based and repeated reviewing of the product through this model one can locate its defects or strengths and improve the product until it is sold. The User, the Designer and the Community will experience every aspect of the product through an empathic experience which is a:cognitive, b:emotional and/or c:physical.

So, even from the first steps in creating a product, like prototyping, the USER model can be incorporated to achieve a design that focuses on its user (human centered design): To understand its users needs and satisfy their empathic experiences.

For me: A lot of new thinking! For you: If anyone have inputs on this, please leave a comment.

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