In their book, Creative Confidence, Tom and David Kelley discuss the importance of balancing three factors (technical factors, business factors, and human factors), often referred to as the IDEO Three Lens of Human-Center Design, when undertaking innovation initiatives. While they go into detail about all three, for myself, their commentary about the third element – human factors – is most interesting. They state:
The third element involves people, and is sometimes referred to as human factors. It’s about deeply understanding human needs. Beyond just observing behaviors, this third aspect of successful innovation programs is about getting at people’s motivations and core beliefs. Human factors aren’t necessarily more important than the other two. But technical factors are well taught in science and engineering programs around the world, and companies everywhere focus energy on the business factors. So we believe that human factors may offer some of the best opportunities for innovation, which is why we always start there. (pp. 20-21)
I completely agree that deeply understanding human factors is vital for successful innovation. It’s great to see respected professionals in the design community write about the importance of this topic.
Kelley, T. and Kelley, D. (2013). Creative confidence: Unleashing the creative potential within us all. Crown Business: New York, NY.