There are multiple types of innovation, technology is one of these, another one is design. Design innovation can relate to many areas of a product, even up to business model.
Two broad perspectives of design innovation:
- Work by vision. First create an experience vision that will guide further efforts. The difference between the current experience and the future experience is where innovation happens. This is the grand macro view as it focuses on the journey improvement. Depending on the granularity and scale of the journey represented determines the scope of possible innovation, for example only looking at a limited flow will mean the innovation will be small, possibly incremental. While looking at the overall user journey enables large, wide ranging changes.
- Methods and practices: journey mapping, experience visions, storyboarding, acceptance criteria.
- Work by improving the current experience. More explorative, but also might be more optimization based. Focus on the micro view, more trial and error, remove or add constraints, friction.
- Methods and practices: prototyping, experiments, Thinkpak cards, design studio.
These two are not mutually exclusive, both perspectives need to be practiced in a product development process.