In chapter 4 of Innovation X, Richardson explains the concept of convergence and how it relates to identifying problem spaces and opportunities for innovation within new and existing products and companies. He defines convergence as “…the integration of multiple products and customer touch points to provide functionality, benefits, and a customer experience that would be impossible in a stand-alone product.”
Convergence is an avenue to systemically addressing the increasing quality expectations of consumers, seamless experiences, and the need for market differentiation. Such a holistic approach just makes sense. It increases the responsibility of companies to understand how and what they produce fits into a larger whole – if not for the sake of market differentiation but for the sake of creating sustainable, conscious products.
The goal of convergence is to have the ecosystem and the touch points work smoothly together. This happens when each is informing the other, thus the ecosystem and the exploration of the touch points must be constantly fluid and flexible. Understanding the customer experience and identifying the problem and opportunity spaces lays the framework for building a functional ecosystem that is flexible and can adapt over time.
In order to make sense of how Richardson describes convergenceI, I’ve illustrated the convergence journey through my interpretation of it being a systemic, human centered approach to design.