Innovation.  At PlusD2 it’s a word we pride ourselves on.

It goes into our work with great care and expertise in the hopes of providing you with an end result that is just that…innovative.

I’ll be sharing over a series of eight articles PlusD2’s theory and process of innovation as it relates to the product development and industrial design world.

Part Six – B-F-S

In the pursuit of innovation, whether it be embodied within a product, service or digital interaction, development teams can often overlook the key insights derived from human-centered research (HCR) and focus merely on what new features could be introduced. This may end up resulting from the pressures to produce and actualize the results of the research, or it may be that the development team can only conceptualize advancements when over-laid against the competitive landscape.

Within the context of needs-based innovation, it’s critical to always be mindful of the key insight extracted from the primary research (HCR) that acts as the catalyst for change and/or innovation. A simple tool to assist in this process is

B-F-S.  Benefits–Features–Specifications.

Development teams should always be asking themselves, what real benefit am I attempting to provide the user? How will this improve their use of the product (including and not limited to product as device, product as service, product as software, etc.)? Will this benefit the user in terms of ease of use, communication, safety, facility with navigation, and the like. If a benefit can be clearly articulated for the user, then there is most certainly a conceivable feature that can then deliver that benefit. Extrapolating features derived from well-defined benefits offers a clear path to some level of innovation.

Once features have been clearly identified, it is then a systematic approach to define the quantifiable specifications required in order to turn that feature into a reality. Engineers are familiar with this facet of the process, as they are accustomed to creating a PRD (Product Requirements Document). Other disciplines can use the B-F-S process as a structural framework for a deep dive investigation. Never loose sight of the people (empathy) who will ultimately engage with the results.

PlusD2 is an Innovative Product Development Company based out of Chicago and Columbus.  Our motto – The Art of Creation and the Science of Imagination.

If you’d like to speak to us about a product development project we’d love to hear from you.  Email my team at

What is your take on innovation within the design industry?