Looking for an innovative way to deliver your product or service, a revolutionary new (but well-proven) method to improve your customers’ experience? Check out “analogous contexts,” say the innovation strategists at IDEO, the industrial design company that brought us, among other things, the I-Zone camera and the slimmer, trimmer Palm V. In redesigning the postpartum process in a hospital’s maternity department, where mothers are separated from their infants, for example, a core design team consisting of hospital employees might explore other places that ask people to give up something dear: a car dealership, perhaps, where owners put their shiny new Lexus in the hands of greasy mechanics, or a veterinarian’s office, where the family pet disappears behind swinging doors. The team should visit numerous places that offer analogous experiences and document how those folks assure customers that their beloved belongings will be in good hands. Bring cameras and document the experience visually, then come together and sort through the data, look for themes and map it all to a “journey framework”—the major steps in the experience, such as “getting into the healthcare setting; finding my way; treatment; leaving; accessing physicians again.” 

GoodExperience.com 15 Sep 2003