How do you surface innovation within your organization, select the most exciting and viable ideas, and incentivize technical and business sponsors from within the business to allocate budget and take them to the next level? Accenture companies designaffairs and dgroup, moved rapidly from ideation to prototype—in just two days! The secret sauce? Aligning vision and business insight with human-centered design.
The client, a large telecommunications firm, brought an exciting concept to the table. “The client wanted to create an innovation platform that could capture and drive innovation organically within the organization,” explains Christoph Baur, usability engineer at designaffairs. “dgroup, an Accenture company, approached us to help build a prototype of the solution.”
“The concept was really interesting, making use of emerging technologies,” explains Lisa Babenko, digital transformation consultant at dgroup, a company that specializes in bringing together business and technology to drive transformation and innovation.
Among others, the client wanted to use blockchain technology and a virtual currency to ensure transparency across the innovation journey; track progress, costs and ownership of projects; and incentivize participants to bring ideas to the platform and support them to completion.
“To take this project to the next stage, the client wanted to build a prototype to present to the company’s board. We knew we would need service design and user experience (UX) skills to build the innovation platform prototype, so we approached designaffairs, a design consultancy that is part of Accenture Industry X.0, to work with us on this project,” notes Babenko.
The collaboration delivered rapid results.
Design is the key that unlocks the opportunities trapped in ideas.
“As we shift deeper into the digital era, consumers are becoming familiar with interfaces that are intuitive, enrich their experience, guide them through complex tasks and make it easy for them to achieve their purpose, whether that’s dialing up an Uber or setting up an x-ray. This has changed the way companies think—to develop successful solutions, usability has become the key criteria.
“This means companies can no longer just focus on the product, the product has to be built around the user.”
This is what we call human-centered design.
dgroup and designaffairs obtained a deep understanding of the organization’s key objectives in a client workshop. “We then enriched the initial idea with our business, tech and design capabilities, and gave their vision life,” notes Babenko.
This last part of the project fell to the designaffairs team.
The design of the prototype took many factors into consideration. “The simplicity of the wireframing and the user interface on the innovation platform prototype we developed belies the complex strategy, process and human-centered design thinking that went into the development of this solution,” says Baur.
dgroup which, offers the development of new business models, services and products to incrementally expand the business or disrupt the core, helped the client to define the platform value proposition by conducting interviews with users to understand their needs and define the user journey. In parallel, the team did an assessment of potential technologies that would support the key criteria the client had set, namely:
- Create a platform on which employees could place their innovation, exposing it to others to gain support (and budget) for development, so stimulating intrapreneurship across the organization.
- Ensure transparency and track inputs by innovation owners and teams to ensure recognition.
- Track progression of the projects and enable leadership, budget owners and investors to see, at a glance, which projects were most viable.
- Develop a virtual currency that can also be tokenized to enable investment in projects and earn rewards.
With the help of designaffairs, dgroup then undertook innovation and modeling sprints to clarify the focus of the solution and create a unique selling proposition (USP). designaffairs then developed a wireframe prototype that could demonstrate the USP to the client organization’s board–in just two days.
“The design of the clickable wireframe dummy that demonstrates the features and capabilities of the proposed innovation platform was very important,” says Babenko, “as it encapsulates not just the user journeys, but makes tangible the opportunities, benefits and business value the solution can offer to the business.”
At present, the solution is being reviewed by the client organization’s board. If approved, dgroup will work with the client to create a roadmap and potential way forward.
“This innovation platform project is a great example of the value that Accenture companies like dgroup and designaffairs can create by working together, quickly enriching ideas and bringing them to life to test their viability,” says Baur. “We look forward to growing our relationship with dgroup and continuing to collaborate on new and exciting solutions.”