Nov 21, 2019

My hope for stubborn 'Innovators'

Can we build this feature?!!

Many people confused between ideas with innovation. Some believe innovation is the idea popped in their heads during dinner or shower. Then, they become really stubborn with that idea. I mean, those can be profound idea for you, but not necessarily what others want. Throughout my career, I’ve witnessed some senior leaderships came to the team and requested random features out of the blue. When they get asked, “Why should we work on this feature?” They will ignorantly answer, “Just do it my way, I know my shit.”

You know what happens in that story, right? If I can simplify, there are 2 possible outcomes from that story. First, the team might just do it and get “some” results but struggle to make a significant improvement or growth in the future. For me, if it’s a success, it’s just pure luck and not sustainble. The second possibility is the team ship and launch something no one wants to use. Which often time happens. Oops!

Often people don’t realize they do that. I mean, even me, as Design Practitioners, can jump to conclusion too soon from time to time. It’s our nature, a default way of thinking. Worse, all the great and success stories from the innovators always talk about one-single-person behind that invention. I think this victimizes our way of thinking to believe that our idea could be one of that success story. Of course, there is that possibility, but in today’s reality where the competition is up high and new startup around the block ready to disrupt the industry, we have to think and work smarter. We can’t hope we do random thing and wish the best luck out of it.

The way I see it, innovation is a process to create, offer, and provide a better way of doing something. A better experience for the user to master their environment. Therefore, it’s important to focus on the user’s problem and context first, which often we can get by observing the users.

It’s okay to have ideas, but don’t be stubborn and fixated about it

I mean, it’s okay to have ideas though. Without it, we can’t start any thoughts or conversation. But don’t randomly request a feature and then be stubborn with that specific solution. I can talk about few methods, this and that. Instead, here’s a simple suggestion for leaders who often give a random feature request:

Distill it down from feature to problem

Come to your team and say, “Hey, I think this __ feature will be useful because it can solve ____ problem. Can we brainstorm and explore other possibilities to solve this problem?” Talk about that specific solution with an open mindset. Talk about what problem you want to solve. The priority should be solving that problem, not your solution! Give space for your team can uncover that problem and opportunity and then ideate together.

Talk about the expected user outcome of that feature

Come to the team and talk about, “Hey, I have this ____ idea, I believe it can help our user to do _____ (better experience). I wonder if there’s a better idea to help our user achieve experience?” Don’t be stubborn about the solution.

Here, Experience Designer and Design Researcher will be your best friend to help you get to observe your users and understand their pain points.

Don’t be stubborn, stupid.

Focus on the problem and be open for other solutions. Because, at the end, if you truly are an innovators, you should be passionated about solving that problem to empower your user to live their life easier and better. Plus, by doing that, you company could gain a better business outcome later on.

2020

2019

2018

2020

Sep 17

Entering product design – Chapter 4: Product designer key skill areas

Sep 14

Entering product design – Chapter 3: Misunderstanding of business

Sep 11

Entering product design – Chapter 2: Principles over steps

Sep 10

Entering product design – Chapter 1: Silver bullet

Sep 10

Entering product design – Overview

Sep 04

SAR: A framework for concise storytelling

Aug 27

Start your design with outcome

Aug 24

New medium post: Collaboration ground for design systems

Aug 17

Action points

Aug 13

Pulse check: Listen to your team

Aug 11

You should actively apply for a new job

Aug 10

Design systems' area of influence: Service (3/3)

Aug 04

Design systems' area of influence: Offering (2/3)

Aug 03

Design systems' area of influence: Identity (1/3)

Aug 01

My mom ran me to the hospital

Jul 29

Reader question: Do we need to build MVP for every product?

Jul 27

Reader question: Do I need formal design education?

Jul 24

Recognize assumptions

Jul 21

Sandbox for your personal growth

Jul 20

Start your week with questions

Jul 17

Specificity in feedback

Jul 15

Don't sell the design. Sell the business impact

Jul 14

Overwhelming inspiration

Jul 13

The framing trap

Jul 10

Everyone vs. Specific

Jul 09

The blind horse designer

Jul 08

Set the context in your meeting

Jul 07

Let's just try and see what happens

Jul 06

Managing expectation

Jul 05

Low UX maturity company

Jun 17

A simple exercise for career reflection

May 31

The “Coach sheet” – A paper-based system for people management

May 26

Bring calm to your remote team

Feb 13

Workshops can be more efficient than meetings

Feb 07

3 questions designers should be asking

Feb 06

Walking 1on1: A refreshing way to connect

2019

Nov 21

My hope for stubborn 'Innovators'

Jul 18

Five simple actions to help you gain more time

Apr 23

Evolving Product Experience Principles at Bukalapak

Mar 09

A framework to give better design feedback: Analyze, Discuss, Suggest

Jan 28

Making a decision is hard, here's my rule of thumb

2018

Dec 04

Essential skills for Product Designers

Nov 16

Quick life update

Nov 06

Things I learned from working at Shopify

Oct 15

About design critique

Sep 17

Common icon design problems you should avoid

Sep 06

Preface: Welcome to yellowstroke.com