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.
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:
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.
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:
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 behaviours.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.