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What We Learned from Participants
Multiple Solutions are Possible

Issues:
  • There are no "optimal" solutions
Solutions:
  • Be creative
  • Pick the simplest solutions, they will grow anyway
  • Iterate with the customers
  • Drop a solution when investment > return

Notes:
Our design groups came up with designs that varied dramatically and all were solutions to the problems. So when your design team goes down one path to a solution, it does not mean it is the only solution. Think "out of the box," concerning yourself with what is best for the user, and keep the solutions simple. In the evolution of systems there is commonly feature creap. Don't try to build everything for everyone at first, pick your largest customers who can deliver the most revenue (if revenue is your goal) and design those pieces first.

If you see that your design can no longer support all the features and functions in upcoming releases, it is time to reconsider your investment and start looking towards new solutions that can support future growth. No one is perfect, and designs can only evolve to a point before the costs tend to rise disproportionally to the return. We can see that which each major upgrade to word processors, there just is minimum functionality that the current model really is missing. Certainly we are not seeing the jumps we did 5 or 10 years ago. Hence, a paradigm shift is needed to take users to a new level of design. We saw that shift from text-only word processing to the GUI word processors, and we have seen a similar shift in innovation with the creation of the web. Soon, you will be in a position with our web design that it too will have to radically change if it hopes to have a place in your users' world.

P.S. See Foster's book on Innovation, a truly entertaining reading on the process of innovation. His book; Innovation: The Attacker's Advantage, published by Summit Books (January 1988) ISBN: 0671642243 is out of print though. Some libraries (especially business school libraries) might have the book, or you try your luck waiting for www.amazon.com to try to find an out-of-print copy for you. - RMH


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Slide 24 of 32
Comments: Happily Received!
Home Pages: Miller's & Rettig's
Page: http://design.softcom.com/workshops/w6_report/slide_24.html
Updated: 01.20.1998