To deliver effective experiences to a mass audience we really have to consider both the validity of a concept and the viability of the demonstrated prototypes derived from the initial insight.
IN the IHT Alice Rawsthorn has written in
"As for the design debacle of 2007, what else could it be but the London 2012 Olympic Games logo? Like the iPhone, it's the only serious contender in its category, but for all the wrong reasons."
I wonder whether the initial concept sketches were shown to ordinary people early in the process or whether the unveiling was the first time. The key to innovative behaviour is to iterate fast and often, with the right people, to ensure feedback initially for understanding of the challenge and later for confirmation that we have interpreted the feedback sensibly. in other words to ask to questions:
Initially: Is this a valid idea? Do I get positive responses? How does the reaction vary across a range of ideas made tangible?
and later, much later: Can we sell enough? Can we make money from this?
I remember seeing a concept model for new packaging that just did not feel right, but it had a beautiful profile. The designer strongly defended the concept and the marketer, the project leader, accepted his defence. We built another model dropped in on a tea-break of a consumer panel down the corridor and asked them to assess the model. "Its all wrong," they said. "But it is a pretty shape." we said. "Pretty useless." was the reply. We changed the design to another ergonomically acceptable shape, still embodying the aesthetic and it was a success.
Remember Michael Schrage's pithy definitions:
So the sooner people are exposed to tangible examples of the ideas, concepts and prototypes the sooner we can understand the emergent value of our offering. In other words rapid iteration of a concept based on the best knowledge we have at that point in time is better than pursuing perfection as we understand it and taking a long time to get there. There are three quotes to bear in mind:
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."
The Red Queen to Alice, in Alice in Wonderland,
Samuel Becket observed
Picture uploaded on by Daquella manera. Used with thanks under CC.