All inventions are born as the solutions to unique problems. Innovation is achieved through proper understanding of the problem and the nature of its solution. ToolsToDesign is an initiative of architects, artists, essayists, and engineers looking to initiate innovation rather than wait for it.
To begin such endeavours, one must understand what the factors are in striving for innovation. Many in ToolsToDesign have concluded that there are a few factors to help with the creative process like the following:
First-hand experience in practice
Just like practising what you preach, you should be one of the users of your own invention. This gives you the best perspective at finding the tool’s effectiveness and shortcomings to better explore new concepts to improve it. Better yet, it gives you a first-hand account to see other issues that should be addressed by the tool or make a new invention to solve that, too.
User feedback for individual experiences
Second-hand statements about the invention are just as valuable as one’s experience because they all come from individuals with unique perspectives. They can be present in situations where your invention doesn’t work, is impractical, or better alternatives are present. The consensus of user feedback is usually the basis of many companies’ changes to their products so the same is true for an inventor.
Potential for versatility
There is always room for innovation even if the invention is working as intended. Rather than thinking of ways to do its initial job better, you can instead try looking for other issues that it can be applied to. You can either keep it as is and just introduce the idea of using the tool to solve new problems or make changes that improves its versatility. Many users prefer tools that can serve more than one purpose, after all.
The growth of the type of problem it solves
The problem you seek to solve is not going to remain the same forever. As time goes by, other people will face the same problem that is either more severe or coupled with other problems that makes the initial solution unusable. WIth this in mind, you should study the nature of the problem you are trying to solve and prepare contingencies for the future or other scenarios.
Expansion for the accessibility for its use
The accessibility for any invention refers to how easy it is to use and learn for other users. An example is the elevator that can be operated using a simple set of buttons and it can be maintained by any trained mechanic.
If your invention needs a specialist to operate or repair it, then it won’t be an ideal tool for most users. An example of this is an ice cream machine used by the fast food chain that can’t be repaired by mechanics not affiliated with the manufacturer. Making access to a tool not only discourages many people from using it but it also removes its potential for innovation.