Diffusion of Innovations

In Everett Rogers Diffusion of Innovations, the path of diffusion for an innovation is critical to its success. During one of my courses, we were asked to create group exercises for the class that explain the teachings in the readings. In this activity, my group created a graphic that outlines the different stages of innovation diffusion. We asked the other groups to track the diffusion process of different innovations and note how diverse and non-linear the diffusion process can be. Through this, we learned there is no perfect formula for diffusion, but rather that each innovation determines diffusion based on its unique circumstances. 

This diagram model has become popular among SCAD students in design management and used for future projects and theses. 

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Real Eyez

Project: Create a personal innovation proposal and show its value through Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations.

Concept: My innovation proposal is an eye pressure monitoring kit called RealEyez. It includes two lenses that sit on the lower portion of the eye and a small microprocessor bracelet that transmits data to the RealEyez app on any smartphone. The app displays daily eye pressure readings and indicates a warning symbol for eye pressures that are within glaucoma range. Glaucoma can be sensed within 24 to 48 hours. If the eye pressures indicate a potential glaucoma diagnosis, the RealEyez app will schedule a doctor appointment with an eye specialist near you. The doctor will receive your eye pressure information prior to your visit.

RealEyez combines technological, medical, and self-diagnostic innovations. The ability for patients to self-diagnose and prevent unknowing blindness is an innovation. With RealEyez, there will be monetary profit for those who invest and capitalize on an illness with a target market of 150 million Americans (U.S. Census Bureau, accessed 2015). RealEyez also creates a profit in patient health by increasing awareness about glaucoma and diagnosing patients early. The early diagnosis of glaucoma is critical for maintaining eyesight and a high quality of life (Glaucoma, org. accessed 2015). 



I have been learning about ways in which designers are applying both anthropology and ethnography to design research and strategy. Although design projects have too condensed a timeline for traditional research methods, designers can learn to observe, interact, and discuss with end users and their environments. This is a small-scale ethnographic study of a local coffee shop in Savannah, Georgia. I visited several times and noted both patron and environmental characteristics. Before designers can create change in the world, they must understand current conditions.