Bringing Clear Vision to 1 Billion People

Dave Volger has a great post over at Fuel Your Product Design about AdSpecs.  They’re glasses that allow you to adjust to your own prescription and lock them down permanently once you get it right.

More than half the people in the developed world use some kind of vision correction.  Glasses.  Contacts. Surgery.

We can see.  We can be productive.  We enjoy life.

Generally, glasses aren’t particularly expensive–unless you go for something really special.  But, just to get a clearer view of the world isn’t prohibitively expensive.

In the developing world, the problem isn’t so much the glasses–although the cost is great.  It’s also a startling lack of optometrists (sometimes one for well over a million people) who can figure out what correction you need to even order the glasses.

Josh Silver, saw this problem and postulated that glasses people could adjust for themselves would eliminate the need for a medical professional and bring glasses to millions that would previous just had to live with bad vision.

Here’s Josh Silver’s talk on the idea.  He’s created a foundation called Centre for Vision in the Developing World to help make his vision of bringing clearer visions to one billion people happen.

It’s a great example of an elegant solution to a problem.  Many would think the solution would be more optometrists, cheaper glasses or some other more straightforward, resource-driven solution.

Instead, Silver found a new way to deliver what people really needed, clear vision, in a way that they can do for themselves.

The Role of Storytelling in Innovation: Part 3

photo by Reinis Ivanovs, http://www.flickr.com/people/untums/

Characters. You need characters to tell a story. The more vividly drawn they are, the better. This part of the story is about understanding those characters and how that understanding can help you meet their needs.

In Part 2 of this series we talked about actively telling the story of your context. We focused on the action and what’s happening in a particular situation.

We discussed the people in this context, based mostly on what they do and how they act in the space. We called them stakeholders. Each of them has some interest in what’s happening. They won’t all be customers. Some will influence the customer or the situation, but they all still have a role to play. A part in the story.

(Rest of the series: Part 1Part 2, Part 4)

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Making Magic: Is There a Trick to Really Good Innovation?

As a designer, I frequently deconstruct products in my mind.  Why this particular material or manufacturing process? Why this color? Did they do studies to decide how big or small it should be? How much time did they spend actually studying the end user?

As a designer, it’s also necessary to shut some of this off and stop looking behind the curtain from time to time.

I don’t always care how the products and services I use create the experience I have with them. I’m more concerned about how well they actually deliver. Continue reading