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Tools for Innovation – Part I November 17, 2006

Posted by reto wettach in innovation process.

Through a couple of projects we have been doing at the Interaction Design Lab, I am asking myself, how to develop “Tools for Innovation”. By this, I mean software supported tools, which inspire and help to find opportunities and interesting interrelations.

The first tool, which I am looking at, is “Mapping”: Through a multi-dimensional arrangement of new ideas and/or existing projects one might be able to spot areas of opportunities. My professor, Hans (Nick) Roericht, and his team wrote about Mapping:

en gros
gesucht ist eine art der darstellung, die aufgrund ihrer inneren struktur, geschaffen durch “polungen” analog den himmelsrichtungen, die orientierung innerhalb eines sujets erleichtert.

(we are searching for a diagram, which supports the orientation within a subject, based on the diagram’s internal structure, which is constructed through “polarities” – similar to the directions on the compass)

Mapping should be used – according the Roericht – for the following purposes:

…für die systematische variantenbildung.
…zur gliederung von begrifflichkeiten.
…zur strukturierung der eigenen gedankengänge.
(…for systematically producing variations.
…for  the classification of the terminology.
…for structuring thoughts.)


Together with Fabian Hemmert, Andre Knörig and Julia Werner we developed a flash prototype of “Mapping”-tool, so far a two-dimensional solution

For a project about tactile mobile interaction, we used 11 axis, which could be selected within a pull-down-menue:
Based on the selection of axis the projects would be rearranged dynamically. Here a detail view:

(I did not upload the tool yet, because it is still kind of buggy)

I am wondering, how to further develop this tool. Some ideas we are having are related to more dimensions, but mostly easy access of the project library and the various evaluations. Furthermore it would be interesting to apply Web2.0 ideas to this tool. Any comment welcome!



1. eCultureFactory - November 30, 2007

netzspannung.org’s >Semantic Map< demonstrates similiar processes and features of database mapping, text analysis, semi-automated clustering and labelling for knowledge discovery and generation of database narratives.

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