IDEO Product Development
David Kelley of David Kelley Design merged with ID Two, led by Bill Moggridge and Matrix, started by Mike Nuttall to start IDEO in 1991. IDEO comes from a Greek word meaning “idea” which was chosen Bill Moggridge. The merger brought IDEO into diverse markets such as automotive, medical, and computing. IDEO had contributed to the design of thousands of new products and along the way it became the largest award-winning design firm in the world. Some of the successful projects include the first mouse for Apple Computer, ski goggles, the Avocet Vertech Skiers watch, and a large variety of medical contribution. Due to their success, IDEO started to expand and had over 300 employees along the design centers in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Palo Alto, Grand Rapids, New York, Milan, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo.
IDEO’s process focused on two key elements: brainstorming and prototyping. The two processes went hand in hand where brainstorming sessions led to rapid prototyping or vice versa. Part of the process was to understand the market, it’s client, technology, and observe real people in real-life situations to find out what makes them tick, what confuses them, their likes and dislikes. Part of the brainstorming process was to translate the information into opportunities for design by including photographs, diagrams, and drawings all mounted on the wall to prompt discussion and illustrate key insights. Creating prototypes or a series of quick iterations where fail early and fail often, but learn from those failures was the motto. They were also actively getting their clients involved to make it a well-honed developmental process. The culture of IDEO was very playful. The company would hold “show-and-tell” sessions on Monday’s and employees were allowed to decorate their workspace to reflect themselves. Employees were allowed to be comfortable so long as they contributed. There was no dress code, no title, and employees...
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