Tim Meaney

Innovation Isn't 9-to-5

It happens to me all the time. Usually while commuting, reading or running, I'm able to let my mind wander, and it pays me back for the reprieve with a new idea. The workday is filled with so many necessary distractions: conversations and design reviews and emails and meetings. It leaves very little of the room necessary to cultivate a great new idea. I suspect it's the same for you—that if you charted your best work-related ideas, they would be directly proportional to your distance (both physical and mental) from your work.

We’ve been hearing this story for years, and with the launch of Kindling3, our product acknowledges that if a tool is going to be worth anything at all, it needs to be with you when that moment of inspiration strikes. Innovation isn't 9 to 5; ideas don't reside only in the office. Routine is an innovation killer. Doing the same things day in and day out may perfect a process, but it rarely invents a new one. That takes new juxtapositions, new backdrops and a little random chance to create something that has never existed before. To do that, you need get to out, sit in a different chair and let your mind wander.

That's why we gave Kindling3 a fully responsive design for all of your screens: phone, tablet and desktop.

Taking work with you

Mobile is no longer an alternative. It’s the dominant paradigm. The trends are well-documented and unmistakable:

  • The proliferation of mobile computing devices used for both personal, and increasingly, work activities.
  • The rise of tablets—from nonexistent to tens of millions of units sold in only a few years.
  • The dominant growth of mobile’s share of internet access, both in the US and particularly in foreign markets.
  • Employees’ positive experiences using consumer (particularly mobile) software are forcing enterprise software to meet the challenge. A focus on design and usability is no longer optional.
  • The rise of social software, both for personal and business use.
  • People are increasingly taking their work outside of the office, and the workweek is extending beyond the standard 40 hours.

The best ideas occur at the intersection of different trends and never in isolation. Innovation is social, and when trends collide to create a radical idea, you want to capture it immediately without making the contributor jump through hurdles. Kindling's responsive design means that ideas can be captured whenever, wherever.

—James Sanders, Deloitte Digital

It’s a perfect storm of trends for innovation software providers. When we set out late last year to design the new Kindling, we started with the mobile user. All features were first considered for interaction on small devices. As screen size increased, additional interactions, features and, importantly, contextual help information were revealed to take advantage of the screen real estate.

We're web people, and while responsive design is common practice for consumer software, it's not yet required for enterprise applications. That's about to change. We think that work-related conversations around ideas should take place on software as well designed as software for sharing photos of your cat. It's 2012, and enterprise software can no longer hide behind the corporate buyer. Users want engaging tools, ones that can carry experience seamlessly across all of their devices.