· Innovation Insights,Product Design,3-min-read

Influenced by IDEO’s design thinking approach, many Chinese companies start to work on product strategies since 2010. While some startups came up with forward-looking design thought, some still think of design in a narrow sense. For a startup with physical products, you shall ask the question, why is your product designed in this way?

- How to create a well-designed product?

- What are the new trends of product design?

- What is business innovation design? 

In GrowthX Batch 10, we invite industry experts from different backgrounds to share their insight to our teams. In October, Mr. Samson Sun, Shanghai Partner of Per Design, was invited to spread thought and success cases on design thinking for startup’s product innovation.

Source: XNode

Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving and has a human-centered core. It encourages organizations to focus on the people they're creating for, which leads to better products, services, and internal processes. When you sit down to create a solution for a business need, the first question should always be what's the human need behind it?

Source: https://www.ideou.com/blogs/inspiration/what-is-design-thinking

01|What is business innovation design?

According to Samson, “Business innovation design is to achieve innovation by integrating people with technology and commerce based on scenarios, and help to bring your products and services to the market by means of design to achieve your business goals.”

Source:  Per Design

When we are thinking about innovation design, it is important to take the User’s Demand as the core and research on the target market. Finding out what values the product could provide for the users helps the design process.

Technical Realization should take the product itself as the core to make feasible technological innovations. This doesn’t mean actual technology, such as 5G, but examples of which could be cost control and reliabilities of the technologies.

As the designing process starts, Business Logicality should be involved inside to evaluate the business model. It is relevantly easier for startups to achieve this because the models for startups are clearer than large enterprises.

02|Users Experience - Find problems and solve problems

We all know that designing is to find problems and solve them. For one type of product, there could exist lots of possible methods to solve the same problem. It is important to define the product positioning at an early stage and make the decision towards how to design the key features.

Case: Townew Smart Trash Can Design by Per Design

Case: Townew Smart Trash Can Design by Per Design

This smart trash can design is a great example. There could be thousands of ways to make the can smart and fancy. After the market research, the design team found out that people dislike most the daily job of throwing smelly trash from trash cans. So the design idea came out of a trash can that could automatically pack the trash and refill the garbage bag. They chose to design this feature as it is the most scalable one from other smart possibilities. Moreover, this solution costs comparatively low but could still achieve the function efficiently with a clean look that matched the customer expectation.

Solving the problems with the right method and key feature is probably one of the most important steps for startups. Do not try all pathways with your design, but to select the most scalable product that fits the market.


While designing a product, people are normally limited by their current scene-setting. It is easy to ignore scene-setting itself, but changes in scenes can lead to the changes in the core product design. We need to predict the possible scenes in the future in order to realize innovation in product designs. The important step is analyzing human behavior and future lifestyle as they determine how the world will look like in all aspects.

Source:Per Design

Scene innovation is the analysis combining behavioral scene (user’s psychological expectation) and environmental scene (objective influence factors). Samson mentioned, “Based on the needs of human nature, the objective environmental impact factors are innovated around the user's psychological expectations.”


For example, image how your future refrigerator will look like. It could have a screen on the exterior face that mirrors what you have inside. It could link and display your storage on smart phones. It could be inserted in the wall instead of what it is nowadays… All these may change the way our kitchen looks like and how people use their kitchen to a great extent.

Source:  Per Design

XNode Innovation Insights

A good product design should design for the future. Startups need to identify your user’s demand but look not only into their needs for now. Predict the possible scene that customers would need in the future. Design thinking applies to more than the design industry. For startups, the same mindset and methodology could help to find the problems, identify pain points, and choose where you start with the new ideas.

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