Our first obligation is to design the right product, rather than design the product right.

This begins by developing a clear understanding of the pain points you and your customers are having in the field, whether at home or in the hospital. So first, we seek to identify important issues in these six areas:

1. Your business needs and goals
2. Your target users’ and customer’ needs
3. Your core technology and IP
4. The market and competitive landscape
5. Regulatory requirements
6. Manufacturing targets

Diagnostic discovery

It’s important that everyone involved share the same understanding of your unique situation. To do so quickly and effectively, we’ll conduct a comprehensive discovery workshop with your executives and other key stakeholders, leaving no stone unturned. We’ll identify gaps and opportunities, and deliver recommendations in the form of a plan to move forward.

 

User needs and design research

User needs provide the basis for your product strategy and requirements. Gaining a full understanding of user needs and behaviors is the single most important task to be accomplished at the beginning of a design project to assure that you are solving the right problem and embarking on a journey to design the right product. We will build understanding and empathy by spending time in the field as a fly on the wall, witnessing and observing the pains and challenges users face doing their job or living their life.

We can help you fully understand user needs whether you represent a start-up or a mature company. Here are three common scenarios:

  • You have the cart before the horse, trying to find just the right use-case and user need for the technology you’ve invented.
  • You are struggling to understand an unfamiliar use-case or user group.
  • You envision a product extension or expansion and wish to de-risk, confirm a potential product concept, and improve the proposition before investing heavily in that direction.

Regardless of the situation, we can deliver an accurate and complete set of user needs so you can be confident you are solving the right problem, for the right people, in the right context.

Visual brand language

Creating consistency between products is paramount to the success of your brand. It clearly matters to hospital users, particularly those working every day with a suite of products. Your medical product should both invite use and suggest how it should be used. The user’s confidence in your products will soar with each intuitive interaction that meets expectations. Greater confidence leads to greater brand presence, awareness and acceptance. And this in turn will make your sales job much easier, leading to greater market penetration.

A brand should have distinctive design language that reflects your business goals, market posture and user needs. This living, breathing document will guide your development teams and ensure consistency of future products as they move through and exit your pipeline. As with any business strategy, you make a one-time, upfront investment to establish a design language with some continuing maintenance effort required over time. Once it’s in place, you can expect to reduce your product definition costs and schedule on individual projects by one-third to one half.

The need for a common visual brand language is essential for the start-up in creating a firm foundation for its inaugural and follow-on projects. The need is also extremely acute in more mature companies that have made acquisitions over time. Frequently, they find themselves with a hodge-podge of products that would benefit from a common identity enabling them to stand out from the crowd.

With health care products transitioning from the hospital to the home, manufacturers face a new challenge in which brand identity is critically important. They must now find ways to appeal to consumers who have a completely different set of expectations than the traditional professional buyer.

We can help you establish a visual template that will set you apart from others in the marketplace.

Opportunity Mining

We think you’ll agree that innovation is the lifeblood of your business, but identifying new business and product opportunities is not easy.

Ideas come from many places: company acquisitions, technology advancement, market studies, employees and customers. The challenge is to find opportunities repeatedly to meet ever-increasing revenue targets.

In our experience, the very best opportunities arise from revealing people’s unmet needs or the pain they endure trying to accomplish a task. Sometimes they can tell you about these things, but most of the time they can’t. Typically, when people encounter difficulties they create mental or physical workarounds that turn into routines and no longer notice them.

You only really get one chance to unearth the buried treasure that is right under your nose. And that’s by acting as a fly on the wall to observe people’s interactions and habits in their everyday environments.

For reasons of economy or tight scheduling or having made unshakeable assumptions, some potential clients express disinterest in primary research. We believe they are being shortsighted. In our experience, incremental opportunities come from the things people tell you, while disruptive ones come from the things they don’t. Unimagined enhancements and even new products have flowed from our discoveries.

Because we’re really good at opportunity mining, we now offer it as a stand-alone service.
So whether you take advantage of opportunity mining within the broader context of a full-service product development engagement or as a useful discovery exercise, we can help you find the treasure.

What Our Clients Say

“When people call me and are looking for a design firm, a company that can move products forward, help bring them to market, MindFlow always comes to mind. They take a very holistic approach by stepping back and saying great initial idea, but let’s see how that fits into your proposed customers day, life, and workflow.”

Michael McElroy
– VP of Marketing; Sound Eklin

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