I'm giving a short talk on interaction design practices, and one of the topics I'm covering is how a product's concept can change during design. That is, you start a project intending to solve problem A. But as you work on the design, you realize that problem A is the wrong problem to solve. So you change focus and work on problem B instead.

In my talk, I'd like to give examples of this shift. Preferably with examples from reasonably well-known products or companies. (I have examples from my own work, but I think high-profile examples will be more persuasive.) What are some good examples of changing a product's focus, as a result of design work?

Many startups have made this kind of shift after launching a product. (E.g., Groupon started out as an advocacy platform, before pivoting to consumer discounts.) That's not quite what I'm looking for. I want to show how good design can lead to a pivot, before launching a product.


This talk by Adrian Westaway at IXDA 12 might be close to what you are looking for. The design company was asked to design a phone for seniors, but they ended up redesigning the out-of-box experience instead.

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