Fresh thinking to change market perceptions
The recent success of Linx 10 reinforces the value of Voice of Customer (VOC) research but also shows how critical it is to look beyond the verbatim and translate raw data into meaningful insight for valuable innovation.
Linx Printing Technologies, a leading producer of continuous inkjet (CIJ) technology, wanted to produce a new simple-to-use printer aimed at small to medium enterprises. Its VOC research had established the need for good portability between production lines along with fast and easy set-up and use.
VOC research also confirmed that if the printer could be made dramatically smaller it could be placed conveniently closer to the point of use, whether that would be in front, behind, below or above the production line.
At this point, PDD was engaged by Linx to work in partnership on a cross-discipline study to challenge, explore and envision the new concept. Our questions uncovered that the Printers needed to be operated in several positions around the conveyor – partly so that their large size can be accommodated by customers. Further questioning also revealed that the Printer size is paradoxically the result of having to be operated in so many varied positions; for example, longer umbilical cords require more power resulting in extra cabinet cooling, and so on.
With the overriding need for portability, including a very compact form factor for production line positioning, a game-changing product could be unlocked if the solutions to the challenges could be found.
By combining quizzical innocence, proven design thinking techniques and expert in-house knowledge, we were collectively able to change the formula. Instead of a marginally smaller printer on a trolley, the vision was a hand-carried tool. PDD was able to work alongside Linx to refine the design concept, ensure its feasibility and support through development to maintain this vision undiluted into manufacture.
The Linx ‘10’ was launched in 2016.