Be More Innovative

Advice for product innovation, design, and development
2024 07 10 Processes that Guide Creativity HERO
The Processes That Guide Creativity
Moments of inspiration aren’t unusual at all; practically any product innovation you can name has benefited from several. And if they seem to happen out of the blue, it’s because that genius was primed.
2024 07 02 Rational Guide to Brainstorming HERO
A Rational Guide To Brainstorming
Brainstorming can be very effective - if we don’t get lazy. At Delve, We subscribe to the notion of “more brain; less storm.”
2024 06 26 empathy essential HERO
Why Is Empathy Essential for Design?
The short answer: Empathic design makes us better designers.
2024 06 10 Designing for Home Healthcare HERO 3
Designing Home Healthcare: Ten Best Practices and Real-World Examples
The world is better when healthcare meets people where they are. As the home evolves into a central hub of healthcare, how can we design for it in a way that delivers safe and effective healthcare for all?
2024 06 12 User Research Anthropology HERO
All I Really Need to Know About User Research I Learned from Anthropology
Whether I’m validating a medical device or working on the next big thing in VR technology, I always rely on five anthropological principles.
2024 06 04 ICU cockpit HERO
Why Can’t an ICU Be More Like a Cockpit?
ICUs need a more integrated source of relevant information to help physicians make better decisions and fewer mistakes.
2024 06 03 Engineering Team You Need HERO
How to Outsource the Engineering Team You Need
Outsourcing your engineering needs can be the answer—if you do it right.
Delve Product Design Research
Structured Ideation vs Brainstorming
Everyone has his own opinion regarding if and how brainstorming should be done. We use it frequently, but we’ve developed our own technique that is more structured than “stormed.”
2024 04 16 What Successful Hardware Innovators Do Differently HERO
What Successful Hardware Innovators Do Differently
Successful hardware innovators need confidence, foresight, and consideration to do something genuinely innovative.
2024 04 12 Power of Design Thinking HERO
A Guide to Action-Oriented Design Thinking
At Delve, we don’t focus on design thinking for its own sake, but rather, on design thinking and doing. What does action-oriented design thinking look like?
2024 02 27 qualitative quantitative hero
Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Research to Drive Product Innovation
As many as 95% of new products fail. To improve the odds in your favor, put users at the center of the design process and conduct user research early and often.
2024 02 16 Speeding Up Product Development HERO
Speeding Up Product Development
There are several methodologies available to speed up the development process. Which best fits your needs?
2024 02 13 Defuzzing Innovation Process HERO
Defuzzing the Innovation Process
We’ve developed several techniques for defuzzing the innovation process — to uncover user and technology insights that lead to innovation and reduce risk of failure.
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How 3D Printing for Rapid Manufacturing Is Pushing Boundaries
Features that would be impossible to pull off using conventional manufacturing methods are made feasible with 3D printing.
2023 12 VR product design
How We Do It: Virtual Reality for Better, Faster Prototyping
Today we have the ability to set up and interact with a VR-simulated prototype. As the technology continues to grow more accessible, can leverage it for product design, easily translating to faster turnaround and cheaper development costs.
Med device industry learn from consumer HERO
What the Medical Device Industry Can Learn from Consumer Product Development Practices
Today’s users of medical devices expect a consumer-level experience. How can medtech firms make the shift?
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What Is Innovation Enablement at Delve?
Delve helps clients develop innovative organizations, teams, and leaders. How can you tell if your business needs Innovation Enablement?
2023 05 22 change agents actors pt1 HERO 1
Four Agents of Change You Need on Your Innovation Team
Together, we can design a better world. Let’s start by leveraging our unique skillsets as change agents.
2023 05 25 HMW Measure Impact Potential HERO
How to Measure Your Impact Potential
What if you could plot your impact potential in real-time over the course of your project, allowing you to make necessary changes when it matters most?
2023 04 11 multidisciplinary teams better product design HERO
Why Multidisciplinary Teams Design Better Products
A multidisciplinary team has the edge in creating innovative, well-rounded solutions that meet the needs of all stakeholders.
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19 Uses for AI in Product Development
The Delve team explores AI’s place in our product development process.
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The ROI of Research and Strategy, Part 2
To understand the critical importance of user research and strategy for businesses, it's helpful to look at real-world examples.
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The ROI of Research and Strategy, Part 1
Business leaders need to make product decisions based on real data about their target market, instead of simply relying on best guesses or gut feel.
2023 03 07 med device mri nest HERO
How to Design a Medical Device as Safe as an MRI and as Intuitive as a Nest
Medical device manufacturers need to design for a new kind of user. This has big implications not just for the devices they design but also for how they do business.
2023 02 28 consumerization of healthcare HERO
How the Consumerization of Healthcare is Transforming Medical Device Design
Patients are becoming empowered consumers of healthcare. They bring to medical devices the high expectations formed from their experiences with highly intuitive consumer products—as well as greater risk.
Orgs enable innovation HERO
What It Looks Like When Organizations Enable Innovation—By Design
Within every organization, innovation wants to thrive. Here’s what it looks like when organizations dismantle the obstacles that stand in the way.
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What Can Data Science and Machine Learning Do for You?
Here are nine examples across different sectors of how data science and machine learning can help unlock the power of your data.
Stop trying to innovate HERO
Stop Trying to Innovate. Try This Instead.
Companies tend to become less agile and innovative as they grow. This outcome is so common that it feels inevitable. Good news: It isn’t.
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User Research During COVID: Expanding Your Playbook for the New Normal
Whenever your needs require you to conduct user research remotely, these strategies will allow you to answer the same fundamental questions as in-person methods.
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Stop Design Thinking From Becoming 'Innovation Theater'
Too many times design thinking projects fall victim to the trappings of innovation theater. Here's how not to let that happen.
2023 10 24 jobs outcomes constraints HERO
Use ‘Jobs, Outcomes, and Constraints’ to Exploit the Pause Between Research and Ideation
The JOC method lets you move into ideation confident that you're working from something more than a hunch.
12 Article Lee Books2020
Must-reads for innovation
Being home more in 2020 meant a little more down time, including more time for books and audio books.
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The long haul
We can always count on the market to push change, whether the players in the market like it or not. Failure to adapt quickly to changing market forces will eventually come back to bite you.
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How STEEPLE Analysis Informs Design Strategy
STEEPLE analysis is a tool for scanning your external environment. It helps teams understand phenomena and imagine new opportunities.
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Reflections on Delve Talks, Part 2: Building a Culture of Innovation
For our Delve Talks podcast, Dave Franchino and I had the opportunity to interview a dozen people from various industries, all of whom share a common interest, desire and occupation that involves innovation, creativity and culture building. You can find the whole series here.
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Reflections on Delve Talks, Part 1: Building a Culture of Innovation
For our Delve Talks podcast, Dave Franchino and I had the opportunity to interview a dozen people from various industries, all of whom share a common interest, desire and occupation that involves innovation, creativity, and culture building. You can find the whole series here
2023 12 21 what is design strategy HERO_FINAL
What is Design Strategy and Why Do You Need One?
Sometimes having a breakthrough idea is the easy part of innovation. Navigating the organization and turning that idea into reality is often the hardest part. That's why you need design strategy.
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Bend, don’t break
(Any Day But) Tuesday… If it was Tuesday, you could guarantee there was no electricity. You couldn’t iron your clothes, watch TV or turn on the lights. You’d do anything to have a portable fan blast air on your face on a crushing summer afternoon, but you couldn’t.
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Open thoughts on open source
I have been spending a fair amount of time thinking about the spectrum of successes and failures related to the open-source maker movement and its contributions to addressing the COVID crisis.
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Should Covid change your research plans?
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been asked by clients and my team has thought a lot about the question, “Should we be doing research now?” We’ve also had to think about, “Can we do research now? How?”
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How to Make Way For Radical Innovation
Before starting on an innovation strategy, decide which type you're chasing: Incremental, disruptive, or radical innovation. Each requires a unique approach.
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How you can help design succeed
Over the years, there have been designers still young in their careers that have come to me looking for advice and ideas of what to do next. They’ve all told me their tales of woe about how design is just not respected or understood where they work. And this, of course, coincides with their (and design’s) struggle to find a solid footing within the organization.
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How to Design Good Decisions
Generating good ideas is usually not the problem. The process of choosing one good idea and getting it through your organization is usually the hard part.
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Our unicorns are real
Apparently, unicorns just went extinct in Silicon Valley. That’s sad news for the small group of tech entrepreneurs who hope to cash in on the latest gold rush and build a company with a $1 billion-plus valuation.
12 Article Tayler Improv3
The importance of an improvisation mindset, part 2
This article is part two of a series about the advantages of an improvisation (improv) mindset on workplace teams. Read part one here.
12 article Tayler improv2
The importance of an improvisation mindset
This article is part one of a two-part series about the advantages of an improvisation mindset on workplace teams.
12 Article Amy Strategy
Strategy is a verb
You’re probably already looking up the word “strategy” to see if it’s a noun or a verb. Spoiler alert: it’s a noun.
06 Article Kent Failuremodeschart @2X
Everyone Fails
I recently hosted a discussion on a topic I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. Failure. Specifically, the role of failure in innovation.
12 Article Verhalen Tunnel Vision
10 steps to help combat design tunnel vision
Have you ever been given a physical tool to help you complete a task when what you really needed was information or support?
2023 10 20 MIND map HERO
How to MIND Map Your Way to Project Success
Most design processes start with empathy or insights and jump right into design research methods – forgetting to acknowledge how crucial framing and scoping can be.
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Learning to learn quickly
Having a foundational understanding of your problem space is necessary for any design process. You wouldn’t hire someone who has never seen the ocean to design a ship, would you?
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SXSW Wrap-up: Moving the needle & our cheese
The common message spoken and implied by the many purpose-driven speakers we listened to: Find an organizing principle for your company, your project, product or community to move the needle.
06 Article Kallsen Failuremodes H1 @2X
The Power of Failure
A very common mantra in product development and specifically Design Thinking is to “fail early and often.”
2023 11 22 From Design Thinking to Integrated Thinking HERO
From Design Thinking to Integrated Thinking: Prioritizing Business Needs in Innovation
If the numbers don’t add up, great design isn’t sustainable — no matter how thoughtful it is. Design must ultimately serve the needs of the business as well as the user.
2024 01 08 business of empathy HERO
The Business of Empathy: Designing Like Your Customers are Human
If you are innovating by practicing customer-centered design, it may be the reason you aren’t getting the results you need.
06 Article Kopenski Pharma Packaging
More specific drug labels could simplify reimbursement
Pharmaceutical companies are in a unique position to simplify the drug reimbursement process.
06 Article Michael Vr Prototyping A
VR: From “Dactyl” to Practical
From a '90s novelty to an exciting design tool, virtual reality offers client-facing opportunities for design immersion.
2024 Work More Collaboratively with Interaction Designers HERO
Four Ways to Work More Collaboratively with Interaction Designers
Designing appliances increasingly involves and interaction design component. How do you integrate this skill into your development process effectively?
2023 12 27 Co Creation Blog Illustrations HERO
The Why, How, and When of Co-Creation During the Product Development Process
Co-creation means inviting users into your creative process. Users, instead of being subjects of study, gain agency and become active participants in the design process.
06 Article Dave Stef Tribes H1
Confessions of a (former) tribal warrior
I have a confession to make. My co-worker Stefanie used to drive me nuts.
06 Article Tyler Miad H1
Design of the dead
As a design team, we are constantly in search of ways to stay involved with the design community and shine light on upcoming talent
06 Article Amrish No Threat H1
Designing Systems Instead of Assigning Blame
In the immediate aftermath of any newsworthy accident, we often hear the words "human error" or "user error".
06 Article Amy Three Ideas H1
Building the perfect team with psychological safety
Psychological safety can be the difference between innovative and just OK. Here are three easy ways to build psychological safety at your organization.
06 Article Joan Whiteboard H1
What's in a whiteboard? More than you might think
We have a tradition of using the humble whiteboard as a jumping off point for discussions both internally and with the community.
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What Does a Doctor Do at a Design Firm?
In medical product design, usability research was too often an afterthought. But you simply can’t expect something to look nice and assume patients and clinicians will know how to use it.
2024 02 21 fourth industrial revolution HERO
The Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Promise and Challenges of Industrial IoT
IoT makes sense for industrial applications where there are endless opportunities to monitor and automate.
06 Article Kent Kallsen Qms H1
QMS that works for us—and our clients
Quality management systems get a bad rap for slowing down progress and squelching innovation. We developed our own QMS approach to meld rigorous standards and the flexibility to innovate.
06 Article Marlisa Kopenski Orion B H1
Challenging the status quo of project management
One client. Three consulting partners and 100 team members. How do you hold such a massive project together. Here are three tips.
06 Article Ami Verhalen Human Centered H1
Human-centered design ... but even more human.
Slowing down and practicing mindfulness in design can lead to better products.
12 Article Big Data H1
Health 2.0: Data — how to organize, access, and use it
At the Health 2.0 to focus was on how to effectively use the troves of health data we already possess for prevention and better outcomes.
06 Article Amy No Pain H1
No Pain, No Gain?
Addressing customer pain points is a great way to inspire design, but don’t miss opportunities to “amp up the good” by addressing the gains that users desire.
06 Article Stef Norvaisas A H1
User Experience Research at LinkedIn
Julie Norvaisas from LinkedIn stopped by our offices to share tips on how they research User Experience to deliver the best products and services.
06 Article Eva Startup Week H1
Startup Week: Developing an MVP with a capital “P”
What does it mean when an Industrial Designer designs a "product?" Nowadays, it can get a little convoluted.
12 Article Amy Lee Yoga H1
Design Research Lessons from the Yoga Mat
The mindful practice of yoga offers some valuable lessons for design research.
12 Article Marlisa Bilingual C H1
You say sketch, I say scenario
Business people and designers have the same goals — launching successful products — they just use different vocabularies.
12 Article Verhalen So What H1
The power of “So what?”
A simple, if provocative, question can make all the difference to a project when it's asked at the right time.
12 Article Lee Sxsw
How to Give Design a Seat at the Lean Startup Table
Design Thinking and Lean Startup are two approaches that can co-exist with some creativity and flexibility to create a better result.
12  Article  Norvaisas  Decision Making
Making decisions at SXSW
During our decision-making workshop at SXSW, we ran a little experiment in decision making that yielded some interesting results.
12 Article Kent Staying Power H1
Staying power
New technologies and processes help us work faster and smarter, but it's the quality of people we hire that makes those tools work for our clients.
12 Article Marlissa Trip Hero H1
Leading when you are lost
A family trip around the world with two elementary school-aged children proved to be a meaningful lesson in leadership.
2024 04 24 great innovation debate HERO
The Great Innovation Debate: Five Moments That Mattered
In the history of product innovation, there are famous successes – some arguably driven by new technology, and others that resulted from user research and insights.
12 Article Lee Going Fast H1
Need for speed: Approaches to picking up the pace of development
There are several methodologies available to speed up the development process. Which best fits your needs?
12 Article Franchino Mgb H1
Of MGBs and multidisciplinary machines
Repairing the complicated carburator of a 1974 MGB convertible is a good reminder that multidisciplinary design produces better products.
12 Article Big Data H1
Answer the Big Questions Before You Begin Big Data
What's an important step that many companies skip in setting up their Big Data initiatives? Knowing why they're collecting data in the first place.
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12 ideas to make calling customer service less hellish
Satisfaction with customer service hasn't improved since 1976. With increasingly complicated, sensor-laden products, who do consumers call for help?
12  Article  Ritzenthaler  Change Management
Navigating the New: 5 Best Practices
Change brings excitement, anxiety and lots of questions. Here are five best practices for managing change in an organization.
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Captain Contrarian: Innovation by competitive attack
User-centered design is great, but it if your competitors also invest in user research it may be time to do some contrarian exercises for stronger strategy.
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Find the Right People to Inspire Your New Product Design
Setting inclusive screening and recruitment criteria for design research projects can help yield the insights that will power your product design.
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The End of Product Failure
What are the odds a new product will still be around in two years’ time? And, how do we decide what to design today?
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What type of innovator are you?
When it comes to innovation, it truly takes all types. Do you know if your team has all the perspectives it needs?
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Finding Simplicity in the Complexity of the Internet of Things
Is the IoT feeling overwhelmingly complex? Here's seven rules to extract simplicity from complex IoT product design projects.
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Empathy is key to new product success
An energizing day at a Microsoft Accelerator Day for entrepreneurs provides a good reminder that above all, know thy customer.
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What’s New in Human Factors for Medical Devices
We noticed more discussion in general this year of user interface (UI) design, often in the context of smart devices. We anticipate UI becoming a stronger focus in upcoming HFES conferences as it continues to become clear that ineffective UIs represent the highest risk to safety and efficacy.
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Uncertainty makes us sweaty
Instead of running away from uncertainty, maybe it's healthy to embrace it as fodder for innovation.
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How to Draw Out a Group's Creativity
Enjoy this visual explanation of graphic recording and facilitation, which is a great approach to helping a meeting come alive.
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Target practice
A lesson in visualizing the target and aiming in squash is also a good reminder of how to design products.
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What's in a name?
Somewhere between a quick brainstorming session and rounds of frustrating debate, there's typically a sweet spot for naming a product.
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Dishing it out
Reviewing restaurants provides insight into what makes some businesses thrive while others falter.
12-Article-Kopenski Girls-H1
What eight little girls re-taught me about design thinking
Leading an after-school fashion design and sewing club reveals the truisms behind design thinking.
12-Article Gennrich Dave-Introversion Brainstorming-Hero-1186x667
Developing an introvert’s superpower
Do you know someone who can absorb a vast amount of complex information about a problem and combine it into a cohesive, elegant solution?
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Wowhunting
It's really interesting to see how companies choose to react when they’re under a ton of competitive pressure. It can be easy for companies to get conservative.
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What We’re Losing with the Loss of Patent Illustration
If your design requires a photorealistic image to show it is different from prior designs, it may not be innovative enough.
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Ideas on Design Thinking for Small Business
How about smaller companies who don’t have the budget for an innovation lab or the leeway to afford failed experiments? How can they get in on Design Thinking?
2024 08 08 Industrial Designers Design Your Future 1 3 HERO3
Industrial Designers, Design Your Future #3: Be Flexible
In my first two posts about the future of design I outlined a few ways product designers should set themselves up to thrive in their careers. In this last post I’ll step back for a broader view of some waves of change headed our way.
2024 08 08 Industrial Designers Design Your Future 1 3 HERO2b
Industrial Designers, Design Your Future #2: Be Nimble
As design and manufacturing become more commoditized, strategy to inform product experiences will be valued higher than implementation. This is good news for product designers who love digging into upfront work.
2024 08 08 Industrial Designers Design Your Future 1 3 HERO1
Industrial Designers, Design Your Future #1: Be Tactical
As the emphasis in industrial design (ID) continues to shift from form toward user interface (UI) and other elements of human to computer interaction, industrial designers will need to figure out how to thrive in a digital environment.
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Vamsee Pamula, Founder & President, Baebies