November 2017

Design led thinking

What is design led thinking? There are a variety of definitions, but the one I like was from Jennifer Kilian from McKinsey who stated

“Design Thinking is a methodology that we use to solve complex problems, and it is a way of using systemic reasoning and intuition to explore ideal future state. We do this with the end user or the customer in mind, first and foremost.”

In other words you look at everything from the perspective of the customer and their experience. One aim is to reduce 'friction' in the way in which the end user engages with the solution. This makes it a more pleasant experience and improves the likelihood of take-up. On average today, a smartphone user accesses their device over 150 times a day. If each of those interactions contains just a few seconds of 'friction' the inefficiency mounts up, the user gets more frustrated and the result is that they are less likely to use the app. If there is monetisation attached to that use this translates directly to lower revenues and likely higher attrition.

Good design led solutions in the mobile world can deliver multiples of adoption rates because users have a pleasant engagement with the app or service and in the very successful cases, generate a positive emotion about its use, which is a powerful thing to harness.

In May 2017 we met with James Buckhouse whilst visiting
Sequoia Capital. James is the founder of Sequoia's Creative Labs which was established to bring design led thinking into the forefront of product and service design. You will find a number of James' videos by searching on YouTube. they are highly recommended.

Sequoia have researched and evidenced the positive impact that design led approaches have on company performance and are great advocates of this approach.

There will be more on this topic soon!

Helsinki Research Trip

I spent just over two days in Helsinki on the Ntegra Greenside / Bird & Bird European Research Tour. This was the 5th year of this event, previous destinations included Barcelona, Copenhagen, Munich and Prague. We saw a mix of organisations whilst there, from small startups to established companies with multi-million € turnovers. There were a number of highlights from the trip for me as follows:-

Aves Netsec
A small startup with a great cyber security solution based upon deception techniques. These are sometimes referred to as 'honeypots' What I like about this solution is its simplicity and elegance. The honeypot are created outside of the enterprise domain and connected by means of a network tunnel, with the result that the decoys look like they are a part of the enterprise network but are, in fact, hosted outside the enterprise in secure virtualised containers.

Hoxhunt are another interesting cyber security company who use gamification to educate your workforce about how to identify and respond to phishing attacks and thereby improve your security awareness and reduce risk.

Kompozure are a software house that has a unique culture and approach to software development that is refreshing and inspiring. They only specialise in Microsoft Azure and undertake their work on their own premises which they believe is far more effective and efficient due to the ability of software engineers to interact on a peer basis, which would not happen if they were on client sites.

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