I just read a fascinating article in Fortune Magazine called “Inside Honda’s brain” that discusses Honda’s R&D/innovation efforts. Here’s an excerpt:
Honda researchers were curious about how the human brain reacts to images. They found that people recognize faces, especially angry faces, more quickly than other images. Honda has incorporated this research into its motorcycle designs (like that of the DN-01). By designing the front of the bike to evoke the features of the human face, Honda believes that other drivers will recognize the presence of a motorcycle more quickly and therefore lead to greater traffic safety.
My take: This little snippet highlights three elements that can be very valuable in your innovation efforts:
The research goes beyond traditional technical domains
The insights build upon a deeper understanding of target users
The design implementation has a clear purpose
The bottom line: How do your innovation efforts compare to this snapshot of Honda and to Apple’s design process I discussed in a previous post?