Viability, Feasibility and Desirability


IDEO has been leading the charge on an innovation model built around Design Thinking. In this model, there are three key perspectives:

Viability. Is it viable. Does it have a reasonable chance of succeeding? Is it capable of producing a profit or achieving your goal?

Feasibility. Is it feasible. Does the technology exist or can it be created that can accomplish this at a reasonable cost or in an acceptable amount of time?

Desirability. Is it desired. Is there a market. Does anyone want this or need this?

Viability is a business-focused discussion around marketing and finance.  An analytical discussion around the business, rather than the core user experience itself. Financial metrics and market sizes become the dominating point of discussion.

Feasibility is an engineering-focused discussion around platforms, architecture, process, skills and tools. Does the technology exist today to accomplish what you need or can you develop the technology you need with reasonable cost and time.

Desirability is a design-focused discussion around customers, aesthetics, function and form. For design-focused products, the focus might be on:

  • context, culture, and goals
  • customer goals and product experience
  • design aesthetics and interactions

Here is where we ask the question “how do we improve the current experience or do we create a whole new experience?” The tools employed at this initial stage might include user research, development of personas and user goals, journey maps and rapid prototyping to explore concepts.