Product-service strategy

Case study

Front-end technology development by design

  • Front-end technology development by design
  • Front-end technology development by design
  • Front-end technology development by design
  • Front-end technology development by design

The technology R&D and Design teams of a global organisation asked us to help them frame how designers might help in the selection, development and maximisation of new technologies. This initiative resulted from the client’s increased awareness of the value of design beyond the sphere of experience aesthetics, and a strong hunch that design had a role to play.

The first challenge lay in establishing key areas of focus, as the front-end of the technology development process is necessarily unstructured. By codifying this process we identified two potential focus areas, and tested our hypotheses through 11 expert interviews with designers, technologists and academics specialising in the front-end of technology innovation.

We then steered the client through all these findings during a cross-functional framing workshop. This helped the team identify and prioritise potential ways for designers to usefully influence technology, and a number of pilot projects on which to explore the opportunities further.

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Capabilities:

  • Capability development
  • Organisation and culture
  • Tools and processes

Project type

Framing workshops

At the beginning of complex initiatives there are often differing views on internal ‘hot topics’, the key issues teams should prioritise and the work to be done.

We begin building a common understanding by defining, distilling and structuring the multi-dimensional nature of the problem area and clearly communicating it in a form teams can engage with. Through a cross-functional working meeting we then help align a vocabulary, set clear aims for the way ahead and prioritise the scope of work to be done.