(case study)


The Challenge

Life Technologies, a global biotech company that supplies scientists with products and services, needed to grow big, from a $4 billion to a $10 billion enterprise. So it hired IDEO to help seed innovation across the company.

"When we started out, it was an R&D thing for driving innovation in new products. Now it’s not just R&D; user-centered innovation is a central part of our culture. It’s what we do throughout the organization," said Amy Cuneo, Associate Director, Customer Insights.

Over a three-year engagement, IDEO helped transform Life Technologies’ corporate culture through the introduction of User-Centered Innovation (UCI), an optimistic, experiential approach to problem-solving. Far outperforming its ambitious goal, Life Technologies is now a $13.6 billion company and uses UCI to inspire innovation throughout the 10,000-person organization.

After working with Life Technologies, IDEO designers came up with three products that have gone to market, including, a new bottle that showcases superior handling and storage, easier identification, and additional room for supplements. And Life Technologies has transformed from a company that aspires to focus on customers to one that truly does.

Previous container design

New ergonomic design

Source: ideo.com

The only non-formula change in the cell culture industry in the last 2 decades was the switch from glass bottles to plastic. Flat sales and little innovation in the user's workflow prompted a new approach.

Project Background

While working for IDEO Munich, Tom Hynek of Design Research led the international field research team to identify lab technician workflow problems and opportunities. Together with the design team many concepts to improve Gibco’s customer experience were explored. Several concepts for the new container were prototyped and taken back to users to validate and refine the new design prior to launch.

The Solution