Working with a small team of design-minded MBAs, I attacked this challenge under the supervision of our tech-savvy professor and an IDEO consultant. During the 1st project phase [EXPLORE], we framed the problem and developed a clear "Hunt" statement that would serve as a research guide. We then turned to ethnographic techniques such as Undercover Detective, Extreme User Watching, and Fly-On-The-Wall to develop hypotheses about latent needs that our technology could help solve.
In Phase 2 [DISCOVER], we analyzed and synthesized our findings using Personas, Storyboards, Customer Journey Maps, SWOT Analysis, False Constraints, and Activity Maps. The results of this analysis enabled us to envision how our nascent technology could be used to solve the latent need identified in Phase one.
[Phases 1 and 2 overlapped significantly as the team attempted to simultaneously identify a latent need and define the feasible solution space represented by augmented reality technology. Lesson learned.]
Before moving to Phase 3 [CONCEPT+DESIGN], the team could articulate how augmented reality technology could be used to solve a real human need in an innovative way. We then set about ideating how the technology would work. This process involved Visual Brainstorming, Mind Maps, Mockups, Rapid Prototyping, User Testing, and Feasibility Checks.
By the end of six weeks, the project team overcame the process challenges of the SID innovation process to develop an exciting and innovative augmented reality-based concept solution. The solution addressed a common pain point articulated by Gen-Y smartphone users - locating friends (or enemies) in real time in extremely dense, non-mappable population centers (think sporting events, rock festivals, or urban disaster zones).