Stop us if you’ve heard this one before…
You and your team just wrapped up a major innovation effort… and you’re left with a nagging suspicion that you could have accomplished more if only you could have combined another approach. Sure, you uncovered some opportunities buuuuut it still doesn’t feel like you are getting the whole picture.

Maybe it’s because your team is only really comfortable with one methodology or has grown to have a “one-size-fits-all” process. …


The coronavirus-inspired shutdown of the global economy has led to profound existential conversations within the business community. Executives around the world are asking questions like “How can we position ourselves for success when this is over?” or even “Can we survive this?”

People and organizations everywhere are trying to find the opportunity in their pain.

At Stratos, we are an innovation group that exists to help companies survive — and thrive. That is never more important than right now. …


New Needs, New Technologies, New Expectations

Right now, we’re seeing a renaissance of innovation as tech companies jump out of our screens and into the physical spaces where we work, live, play and shop.

Technologies once relegated to obscure, downstream or mundane tasks are taking in a refreshed limelight — and forcing customers to recalibrate to a new normal.

This is a challenge for companies across industries, as new innovations aren’t just creating new experiences, they are having a profound impact on customer’s underlying needs and the expectations they have for products and services.


We’ve all been there. You’re sent away for an expensive week of training and while some of what you learned was helpful, you find it hard to apply your new knowledge.

What was that fourth step? How do I frame the problem statement again?

Even more, you come back to a thousand emails and a project list that hasn’t changed since you left. Then, in 6 months when you actually need to apply what you learned, you forgot what taught and the instructor is no longer around for questions.

On the other hand, think about the last time you worked…


As technology rapidly evolves and connects our experiences, what does the future of our physical environments look like? At Stratos we’re passionate about systems thinking in service design. We don’t just look at the intangible offerings of services, but also the tangible artifacts and environments in which these experiences take place. Many design teams are stuck thinking about and innovating around touchpoints but we believe there’s a need to be more holistic in our thinking. This had us asking the question: Is there a way to think beyond touchpoints?

Introducing Servicescapes

A servicescape can be described as the spatial environment…


If you’re like most leaders, you have the drive and dedication to improve your organization wherever possible. No organization is perfect and you likely realize that your business could stand to improve its services but, deciding where to start can be overwhelming — if not paralyzing. However, there is a way to effectively and efficiently create impactful change. Service design, a fast-growing discipline in the business world, has emerged as a way for organizations to create experiences that increase customer adoption rates, happiness, retention, and ultimately increase revenue. Why should your organization invest in Service Design? …


We can all agree that creativity and collaboration are good things, but not everyone is in agreement on what they look like in practice or the best way to support them.

In a world of increasingly complex problems, collaboration is king. The impetus to work together to create innovative ideas in areas such as healthcare, education and governance is more pressing, and exciting, than ever. These problems require multiple stakeholders (internal and external) to come together and actively create, in order to improve the systems and services.

Collaboration is more than just tapping into the individual knowledge that internal and…


The types of user needs you capture can impact the future of your company

As Design Researchers, we spend a lot of time understanding and co-designing with people to explore their needs. We facilitate the co-creation of better services and experiences. The needs that we uncover inform insights that can improve current experiences or create new ones for the future. However, all needs are not equal.

Simply identifying a need does not automatically make it an insight. Needs can feed insights and become the foundation for design principles/ideal experience criteria — these can inform solutions to improve the future. But…


Learn, explore and generate possible futures in the front-end of design

Not everyone lives in the future. For those of us in the design and innovation industry, our job is to help clients and their customers break free from the status quo. We’re always thinking of new ways to imagine and create a better future. One of the ways we do that is through the use of provotyping.

What is a Provotype?

Before we get into provotypes it’s important to establish what we mean by prototype. The term prototype has different meanings, depending upon the business or market you are designing for. We think…


Does your organization have challenges bridging the research insights and design development phases on experience-based projects? It can be difficult, especially during large scale projects within an organization.

At Stratos, we believe that a co-design mindset and actionable research deliverables are key to bridging the research-to-design gap. Our co-design approach involves methodologies that facilitate collaboration between internal stakeholders, designers and end users in the critical space between research and design. This space is commonly referred to as the “gap” or “bridge”.

There are a lot of ways to build a strong bridge that connects research and design. We want to…

Stratos Innovation Group

Design Research & Service Design; Columbus, OH. Our focus on human/outcome-driven design is propelled by co-creation research methods. www.thestratosgroup.com

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