Ideo Case Study

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Case Study Analysis: IDEO Product Development

The business model for IDEO began as an open-minded place to design, develop and manufacture new products. The last 20 years of proven product design driven by innovation has translated into profit margins for their clients and continuous refinement for IDEO’s process. IDEO pioneered “concurrent engineering” where design and engineering work together to produce aesthetically pleasing products that are also highly functional. This was different from many other similar companies that placed more emphasis on the industrial design than the engineering. IDEO’s strengths grew out of the ability to master this ability with high tech clients. Corporations came to IDEO because they had a proven
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In the past Palm projects design had been ignored in order to favor “bells and whistles” directed toward male customers. This new Palm was to appeal to the customer on the emotional level as well as the aesthetic level.

What may have been missing from the innovation formula at IDEO in 2000 was the philosophy of customer experience. This is the way many corporate brands like Starbucks have been handled to be an experience, not just a product. It is no longer sufficient to simply tell customers about the product features or benefits. The brand must create a visceral connection with customers – they have to participate in the journey emotionally. Product development must be geared with the customer in mind and the customer must be engaged more often in research.
The Handspring Visor project however, was more of a challenge for all team members, and the goal was to shatter existing norms by further reducing the physical parameters of the product. It also challenged accepted user interface protocol. This would challenge the team members at IDEO to “fail less often”, so they would be able to “succeed even sooner”, but the real problems were the cost and time limitations put on the project by Handspring. Would sacrificing steps in IDEO’s development process lead to an inferior product? The evidence would come later, but initially,
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