The Characteristics of Innovation

The Characteristics of Innovation
June 01 2023

Everett Roger popularized the theory: Diffusion of innovations. This theory explains how, why, and at what rate new technology and ideas spread through cultures. The Characteristics of innovation are a complex process; designing teams can use this process with their knowledge to create a road map for how they will consign factors in the marketing and designing of their product. The diffusion theory of innovations has varied origins and spans multiple disciplines. Professor Rogers suggested that there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea- innovation, communication channel, social system, and time. The theory must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain and identify and explain factors that lead to the groups. This article will address 5 characteristics of innovation in entrepreneurship that help to adopt the theory of Diffusion of Innovation and explain how these characteristics are self-sustained.

What are the 5 characteristics of innovation?

People do not adopt new products automatically. It takes a conscious decision of whether to use a particular product or not. That is, their decision to accept an innovation is intentional. Designers must proactively address their innovation so individuals should decide on the long-term use of their product.

The innovation theory identifies the following Five Characteristics of Innovation that determine people’s use of your innovation.

1. Relative advantages

The potential audience needs to see how your innovation improves from previous generation products according to their current situation. Improvements can be made in one or many of these areas:

  • Alliance of multiple functions into one tool
  • Better service
  • Decreased need for equipment and supplies
  • Improved interface
  • Increased customizability, longevity
  • Empowerment of users
  • Reduced user effort, environmental impact
  • Increased productivity
  • Saving of time, money, space, and storage

A simple example of innovation is typewriters being replaced by computer word-processing programs. The relative advantage was obvious; these word programs didn’t require any extra physical other than a personal computer; reduced the need for ink; documents could be edited easily and files could be saved and transported to other computers using PDs, and disks. Soon, typewriters were cleared out of offices replacing these computer word-processing programs.

2. Compatibility

Compatibility refers to the harmony of relationship that innovation has with potential individuals as they absorb mentally it into their lives. To potential users, it is important to know that the innovation you are providing will be agreeable to their lifestyle. If your innovation requires a huge lifestyle change; or a user has to acquire additional products to use your innovation then it is more apt to fail. Innovations are the greatest success when individuals are able to smoothly adapt them; they could easily replace an existing product or idea, for the better with your innovation.

Apple’s iPad is a perfect example of innovation; it had a high level of compatibility with users’ lives when released. Many users were capable to replace their currently using products with the iPad, checking email, reading magazines, books, and blogs, viewing videos online, and many more activities which they currently were doing on their smartphones and laptops. Designers must understand the infrastructure and what improvement will work on the product they are designing and should have a deep understanding of the conditions that your product will meet. A designer must answer the following question while thinking of his innovation compatibility:

  • How will your innovation fit into the lives of its users?
  • Are there any additional products that will be required by your innovation to succeed?
  • How will your innovation bring a shift in the behavior of its adopter?
  • What are existing products that your innovation may replace?
  • How does your innovation affect your potential adopters’ mentally, beliefs, and attitudes regarding your innovation release?

The questions are meant to highlight a designer’s need to be aware of not being comprehended. The success of your characteristics of innovation lies in your design team which ensures that the innovation adjusts to the users’ beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors.

3. Complexity vs simplicity

Obviously, complexity slows down your progress; the complex innovation is more difficult for potential users to incorporate into their lives. Adopters do not invest much time in learning to use an innovation. The more instinctive your innovation would be, the more surely it will be adopted. Your design team should design keeping in mind the main focus of Simplicity. Your team must be able to address usability issues that users face, and then clarify them through FAQs, walkthrough videos, tooltips, and other learning materials.

4. Trialability

How easily your potential adopters can explore your innovative idea describes trialability. Before committing to your innovation, users want to give a brief look at what your innovation can do and want to give it a test run. This is the fundamental concept of trial sizes for concrete goods and beta releases for digital goods. Every adopter wants to see for themselves what and how life might be if they adopt the product. Every designer needs to make the product available to potential adopters for trials.

There are examples of the accomplishment of availability of digital products; offers of a 30-day free trial with limited functionality, hoping that users might have a good experience during this period, and paying for the full subscription price is worth being. Most importantly your design team must ensure that the trial product provided should be of high quality and represents the experience that your users want to have. Don’t overdo your free trial phenomenon; this is not your first opportunity for testing or gathering user feedback.

5. Observability

Observability is the benefits or results of using an innovation visible to potential adopters. Observability stretches beyond having earlier users use innovation in view of later users; potential adopters must clearly figure out the benefits of adopting innovation and using it. There are some ways through which you can show benefits to potential adopters:

    • Side-by-side comparison. A side-by-side comparison with the currently used product is good when your innovation has simple and easily noticeable improvements.
    • Before and after Showing adopters the positive difference in their lives your innovation will bring, will have a huge impact on the success of your innovation.
    • Testimonials Running an ad campaign is important, people like to hear who they perceive to be like them. Users who write reviews and testimonials make a big impact on influencing potential adopters.

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Conclusion: Go Fizz And Innovate!

The design team should be prepared to control the expected situation in addressing the concepts related to innovations. They should make lists of typical characteristics of innovation. They must ask the following questions while releasing your innovation.

  • What conditions are needed to advance your innovation (like access to high-speed Internet)?
  • What technologies are required to agree with your characteristics of innovation?
  • What elements are there that you can control and make improvements in?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What are your competitors marketing criteria? And what marketing is beneficial for the success of your innovation?
  • What type of trialability will you offer?
  • How is your innovation going to affect the lifestyle worldwide?
  • How will you make aware of your characteristics of innovation?

Finding answers to these questions will bring a much higher chance of success for your innovation. These questions may create a roadmap to move forward and can predict a crystal clear future as possible. Design teams that knowledge the theory of characteristics of innovations will measure advantage over competitors.

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