Necessity is the mother of invention: identifying and specifying need is at the heart of successful innovation.

It may not be the starting point but, whatever the origin of an idea, it has to be defined and refined as something that meets a human need.

You should have a clear image of who will use your product or service and what their motivation is. What task will it help them accomplish and how? Painstaking attention to understanding the needs of your users and customers is the key to designing something that they will value. An accurate articulation of users’ need is central to your innovation’s value proposition, a clearly defined statement designed to convince customers that your product or service will solve a problem in a way that delivers more benefits than your competition.

Components of Need:

User needs

You should be able to articulate what your target users need to get done and why it’s important to them.

Pain Points

What annoys the user or impedes her in getting the job that you’ve identified done.


The person or organisation who pays for your innovation is not always the end user. It may be an advertiser, a sponsor or a government service. You must take their needs and goals into account too.