Innovation Labs in the Enterprise – Start with Design Thinking

Corporate innovation is critical to stay current and compete in today’s fast moving technical environment.  AT GDS we work with many large corporate innovation labs. These labs are fundamental if large companies do not want to be disrupted by well financed start-ups. 

The Labs all try and have a creative space that allows people to think outside the box, hard to be very creative in a row of cubicles.

Just as important as the workspace is an attitude of experimentation.  The goal is to try many little experiences and to fail early and often with them til one gains traction.  GDS brings this rapid prototyping skillset to the table. An important part that we foster in our Innovation workshops is to “Start with Why”.  Understanding the intent of your users and customers is fundamental and then having them achieve those goals with the minimum amount of digital friction. Design thinking is at the heart of achieving this and really the heart of every successful Innovation Lab.

The world of computer software had gotten much better due to User Interface and User Experience focus.  At GDS we spend a lot of time on scenario modeling (use cases) and optimizing workflow (minimizing digital friction) . The power to get adaption and user buy-in is the trick that marks a successful product.  Let’s go back and review some of the major innovations in Human Computer interaction and see how they have created some of the best applications.

Optimizing for Phone Screen Size

When we look at User interface breakthroughs we have to start with the Iphone. The Iphone led the way with touch screens.Your finger was the new mouse.  This was an innovation that changed the way people interacted with an application.

The pop up keyboard where you could use your finger to type allowed for even complicated interactions. . Smart software allowed this to work for even people with fat fingers.


This innovation made it easy for the User to do the most Common thing.  Tinder had an amazing simplification to express interest in someone, swiping there entire picture one way or the other.

Tinder’s amazing User experience innovation

Swipe right

Representing Physical  Worlds Virtually

Stub Hub

The visualization of the stadium and the tickets was key for the user to understand what he was buying,



When you can create a link between real world and virtual world you are onto something.

Merging Virtual and Real Worlds
The overlaying of the car  on the map was a great innovation and let the user feel in control of what is happening with the process.




Voice May be the Greatest UI

Voice may well be the interaction mode that becomes the most common.  We are already seeing Amazon Echo and Google assistant make amazing inroads.  But other devices have started to grow ears. Samsung has Bixby with its line of smart appliances, Bosche has a voice activated system as well.  It may get confusing with so many different devices trying to make sense of what the user wants from them.

Human interaction and User experience is a key part to product adoption and use.  The enterprise is continuing to learn from prominent consumer applications to keep the user engaged and move them forward with a minimal amount of digital friction.  We would love to have a workshop with you and your company to find innovative ways to deploy design thinking and make your application rollout powerful while reducing support costs.