Good design is innovative

I’ve written endlessly about innovation in LocalGovDigital, offering ideas of new ways to deliver our services – some of those ideas may have been good ideas at the time but bobbins now, some of them may have been ahead of their time and their time is only now or still yet to come. Some of those ideas may indeed have been bobbins at the time and still be bobbins now! But the point of good design being innovative is not about looking for the latest shinies to the website because somebody influential saw a feature on an e-commerce website and thought it looked cool. 

The point of technology is to help users solve problems. The point of innovation is to help users solve problems more easily today than they could do yesterday. It’s our job as digital strategist-practitioners to be on the lookout for new ways of delivering services, new tools which become available, and testing their viability for improving on the existing or non-existent solution to the problem. Some of that will be contextual for the service and will be dependent on the competence of the implementation – a VR walkthrough of a premium space for commercial hire may sell that space more effectively than some low end mobile phone pictures of the space, but a VR walkthrough of the reception area of the Civic Centre is unlikely to be solving any problem that actually exists.