Back in the early ’90’s, a group of psychologists, led by Ronald Finke, made an interesting discovery. When it comes to creating, people are innately better at uncovering the potential benefits of a given form than creating a new form to satisfy a given need. This discovery spurred a new thinking approach called Function Follows Form that encourages us to first create a Virtual Situation (form), and then to explore its potential benefits (function).


Function Follows Form (FFF) is a way to overcome some of the drawbacks of research-led or design-based innovation. Conventionally, product innovation begins with consumer need identification that’s then translated into functions. The product’s form is then designed to fit these functions. Consumers, however, struggle to articulate unmet needs and imagining a product that does not yet exist is virtually impossible.

How can the Function Follows Form (FFF) approach boost results?

References & Further Readings About Function Follows Form (FFF)

  1. Understanding function follows form

    Most people think the only way to innovate is to start with a problem, then generate a solution. In fact, just the opposite can happen too. Imagine starting with a concept that seems worthless, then finding a use for it. Guess what? Humans are better at this than the other way.

    www.lynda.com

  2. Systematic inventive thinking - Wikipedia

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    en.wikipedia.org