Definition: Eliminate the most essential component or attribute, potentially replacing it with a contextual feature.
Arguably the most difficult pattern to work with, Subtraction not only requires creative thinking, but also a great deal of discipline. An example of this pattern at work is the iPod shuffle. The display screen component of the iPod is eliminated, and the result is essentially a very small portable walkman packing comparably large memory space.
The key here is thinking of a creative way to use the product, with an emphasis on use. Substraction is not going to directly translate into a new product. It facilitates thinking creatively, challenging institutionalized assumptions about design, application, etc. Subtraction generates creative potential uses for a hypothetical product, and these uses channeled into new product development.
The result is an entirely new product, with a new function, use, or consumer benefit. This implies the existence of a new and untapped market as well…