When some think of innovation, they think of adding new ideas, creating new processes, and changing the processes of what we currently do. However, one thing to remember is that innovation doesn’t have to always be about steaming forward into the unknown; sometimes the innovations that can make a big difference are overlooked because they’re ticking along behind the scenes. Today, I want to talk how innovation can still be innovation, even if you’re taking something away: Innovation through simplification.
By innovating through simplification you increase the practicalities and user experience of a process. The ultimate example of innovation through simplification was the emergence of the smart phone, and more specifically the iPhone (though under the hood, everything is far more complex, the user experience is simplified)
The integration of the phone, the mp3 player, the camera, and a multitude of other applications streamlined what once was a bagful of items into your pocket. This however, was a few years ago, and the leaps between generations of smartphones aren’t quite as great as the leap between the iPhone and its predecessor.
But what about today? What other simplifications are making the day-to-day simpler?
For me, a talking point should be Microsoft Office. Through the Office App Store, users have the option to integrate applications into their Office window. 1.2 billion people use Office, and it is a mainstay in a majority of workplaces.
With the recent introduction of Skype for Office, allowing video calls and chat from within the office window, as well as an integrated Wikipedia app for referencing, apps to help visualise information, Office is continuing to grow beyond a simple office software solution, and starting to become an app based hub for all your information processing needs.
This comes alongside the introduction of the Idea Spotlight for Office integration, permitting Idea Spotlight innovators to view, submit and comment on ideas from within their Office window, and attach the file they’re working on as part of an idea or challenge. This allows a huge increase in practicality and ease of use, and it is the seamlessness of the integration, along with the high quality standard currently achieved that will need to be sustained by Microsoft in order for Office Apps to continue to grow in popularity and evolve.
History has proven that those that make technology as accessible as possible are ultimately the victors, and allowing a multitude of different applications and functions to be hosted from within a hugely popular base could allow an untold amount of growth and change.