Innovation Labs



Never trust an idea from someone who can't build it.


Most business leaders agree that the success of their company is dependent on successful innovation, only to realize that their ideation process is more of an art than a science.

At WillowTree, our team of strategists, researchers, and engineers remove the guesswork of innovation by introducing processes and tools that focus on authentic customer needs.

What sets WillowTree apart from other innovation agencies is the fact that our engineers sit right beside our researchers and creatives, so that “realism” does not confine design, but takes root in every innovation.





Phase 1 - Problem Framing




Before we start generating solutions, we make sure we understand the problems we’re solving. Our team of researchers build a culture of user empathy by going out into the field and collecting context. Through a variety of research methods (1:1 interviews in our WillowTree labs, contextual inquiries), consumer needs are cataloged and quantified to create a foundation for innovation.
Business alignment

We build stakeholder consensus through a variety of kickoff activities and outcome frameworks.

  • Desired Outcome Workshop
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Subject matter interviews
User research

We get to know your target audience and collect unmet needs that will later serve as the foundation for ideation.

  • User interviews
  • Contextual inquiries
  • Task analysis
Marketing assessment

We conduct competitive and analogous research to gain inspiration and benchmark audience expectations.

  • Feature gap analysis
  • Analogous research
  • Inquiries with partner Forrester Research




Phase 2 - Solution Generation




Once consumer needs are clear and context is understood, the team is then armed to switch into solution mode. Using generative techniques (such as structured play activities or rapid sketching exercises), WillowTree designers and strategists start collecting hypotheses of potential solutions with various technologies. At the end of concept testing, we generate a Concept Scorecard that quantifies which ideas are most desirable by users.
Prototyping

After we collect unmet needs, we’re ready to switch into solution mode, where we bring ideas to life through sketching, mockups, and prototyping.

  • Idea generation
  • Storytelling
  • Clickable prototypes
Concept Testing

We test our ideas in our Labs, collecting user feedbacking to score concepts and refine experiences.

  • RITE method (Rapid and Iterative Testing and Evaluation)
  • Preference tests
  • In-lab experimentations
Business Roadmapping

One of the main outputs of an Innovation engagement is a concept scorecard and roadmap that outlines a clear, executable set of steps to bring winning ideas to market.

  • Concept scorecard (business value, user value, implementation complexity)
  • Step-by-step go-to-market roadmap
  • Hype video of vision for internal circulation