For CreaTech Month, ADLIB has put together their thoughts on how to nurture innovation using creativity.

Creativity and technology are not mutually exclusive, in fact, one can often fuel the other. In today’s world technology evolves fast and creative thinking can be crucial to making the most of it, whether it’s leveraging data to understand a pandemic or creating brand engagement through immersive experiences. 

We asked a number of Creative Tech Agencies what some of the top skills they think are needed to craft innovative products and solutions. Kerve and Somo shared their thoughts:

Tizz Chapman – Design Director at Somo:

“There’s a couple of skills that come to mind. Firstly, someone who can produce high fidelity prototypes. Understanding the fundamentals of interaction design will always bring a product to life. Knowing when something should give visual feedback to a user, add a little bit of fun or masking a loading state is all key in producing a digital product that feels polished as well as a joy to use. Secondly, being prepared to challenge the status quo of something. Be prepared to rip things apart and start again and brave enough to try something totally new is what we need more of.  Innovation rarely, if at all, happens on the first try, but listening to users, and being bold with design choices means pushing through to create something better than its last iteration.”

Sam Taylor – Client Services and Business Development at Kerve:

“Whether you’re a designer, developer, creative or craftsman, the qualities that will enhance your skillset are curiosity and bravery.

Technology and consumer demands move at such a pace that the only way to keep up is to stay curious, reading articles from all kinds of sources and continually experimenting. You need to understand the reasons and context behind the brief, not just the instructions. And doing anything new takes bravery – to speak up for your ideas however crazy you may think they sound, to push back against both clients and colleagues looking for easier but less impactful solutions, and to keep going when the first attempt inevitably fails.”

Bravery, curiosity, and persistence

There are a few key takeaways here.

Being bold with ideas, questioning things and challenging others when needed. Though you might not often see the word bravery as a requirement on a job spec, designers that will challenge others when needed, put forward original ideas and stick up for a good, well considered design process are highly sought after. All of these things can take a little bravery and putting yourself out there (whether It’s with teammates or clients) but can have huge benefits. It could mean convincing stakeholders to really listen to user feedback or demonstrating to a client why your idea will get better results, even if it is out of their comfort zone.

Curiosity is of great value too. Being curious about the worlds you design for, understanding the latest developments, challenges and opportunities can help with innovation. Being insight led; developing a real understanding of your users needs and marrying this with client and peer feedback in order to build better solutions. All of these things require someone to ask the right questions.

Persistence is key. Design can be tough; trying to balance the needs of sometimes disparate stakeholders, dealing with conflicting opinions and ideas, testing and learning that something doesn’t work as you’d hoped. It can be a lengthy process with many setbacks along the way. Being resilient to this and knowing this is all a natural part of the design process can really help with keeping positivity and ultimately getting the best results. Each failure is a learning experience even if it might not feel like it at the time!

Naturally, there’s lots involved in innovation. This is just a snapshot of some of the softer skills that are sought after and can make a big difference when employed throughout the design process.

Author: Sam Firth – Head of DesignUser Experience & Design

Sam leads ADLIB’s User Experience & Design recruitment team in their quest to connect talented designers, conceptual creatives, copy writers and user experience specialists with agencies and client side businesses across the South of England.