Moment of Truth in Designing a Differentiated Product

By Estelle

This post originally appeared at Core 77

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The MP3 player wasn’t a new thing when the iPod came out, nor was the iPhone the first smart phone,” observes John Maeda, Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and former president of the Rhode Island School of Design. “But they were the ones that made you give a damn.”

What Maeda describes in that 2011 Huffington Post article is the First Moment of Truth (FMOT)—that moment when a consumer walks into a store, faced with several comparable products and has to make a decision. They pick up MP3 player one, MP3 player two, hold them in their hands and, in that FMOT, decide which one they will purchase. In a world where many products are relatively similar in terms of technology, price, performance and features, design is that differentiator.

That differentiator is what companies like Karten Design try to create. “How do you get mindshare? How do you stand out? How do you create “sticky” stuff? We use design research,” says Stuart Karten, Principal and Founder of Karten Design, a product innovation firm made up of scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, and designers who go out and spend time with the people for whom they are designing products.

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We are trying to understand their habits and ceremonies, so that we can create products that fit in with the way people live their lives, making them easier to adopt,” explains Karten. “Most importantly, we are trying to find unmet needs—common needs that are persistent in people’s lives, but aren’t being satisfied through the current products, or even the product categories that are available on the market. We use unmet needs to drive new ideas.”

For consumer electronics, that means not only identifying a target audience and creating a product for them, but also following through on the promise of what the product does. That second piece, known as the Second Moment of Truth (SMOT), is vital to creating a positive, lasting impression with a consumer. “That’s the gauge that you have to use to make a truly successful consumer product,” shares Karten. “It has to look good to earn that first moment of truth, and then you have to deliver on it with a product that holds meaning and value in a person’s life.”

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To ensure a positive FMOT and SMOT, Karten and his team go back to where they start the ideation process—with people. “Take things and put them in front of users quickly. That design principle is embedded in our company,” says Karten. “We want to get feedback from people earlier and quicker in the design process to find out what stands out, which ideas resonate functionally and emotionally. Go to the people.” Earlier feedback means faster iterations, shortening the timeline it takes to put a product on the shelf.

That process involves creating a series of virtual and physical low fidelity mock-ups, iterating and repeating, increasing the fidelity with each round. Virtual prototypes can give focus groups a very realistic visualization of the final product, saving time and money before moving on to physical prototypes. “Thanks to new technologies such as 3D printing, the iterative design process can now happen very quickly and cost effectively, so it’s taking off a lot of time in the product design process—across the board,” says Arieh Halpern, Life Sciences Industry Business Consultant Director at Dassault Systemes. Dassault Systèmes works to create solutions like *Ideation & Concept Design*, which keeps track of requirements and manages concurrent focus groups, helping shorten the timeline from research to market. “You’re now able to work on the same concept design with your focus groups in real time, do your drawings in real time, and then convert those into 3D prints,” explains Halpern.

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Shortening that timeline makes a huge difference in the field of consumer electronics, where a shorter timeline means putting that product in the hand of focus groups for that FMOT and SMOT that much sooner. In a field where design is the differentiator [PDF], that time can make all the difference in the success of a product. “With a consumer electronic product, you have to create something that somebody wants. You have to steal the show,” says Karten. “That’s the first moment of truth.” If a product doesn’t deliver on that first moment of truth, it might be the last.

Want to create your Connected Object  ? Register to the new edition of  MADEin3D™ contest, “Cup of IOT”, the theme is Internet of Things !

CupofIoTThis time again, we are lucky to have cool sponsors & partners with us to organize this worldwide competition: Withings, Nodesign.net, Prodways, ES Numérique, and CapDigital. The winner’s will thus be nicely rewarded !

Register to the community to enter the contest now!

 

What if Leonardo Da Vinci had 3DEXPERIENCE?

By Fred

Da Vinci Like buttonLast month was very active in the Da Vinci 3D Experiences community. We now have the 3 winners of the DaVinci 3D competition in partnership with HP, AMD, Scala Archives and the Clos Lucé castle. Overall, candidates built impressive, fully documented projects with great 3D designs and experiences. Congrats to all for the hard work and the passion to share!  :-)

The voting period now being over, the community elected the three following winners:

N°1: Nubevelo, the Vinci Wingsuit by Thibault WALTZER

DaVinci 3D competition WinnerAs a real innovation, Thibault decided to mix together two Da Vinci concepts: the Helix system combined with the Flying Machine in order to create the “Flying Pack”. Not only he reconstructed in 3D from the codex, but also he invented a new machine and designed it! Thibault is student at UTBM, Montbéliard France and learning mechanical engineering with ergonomic and design options. Read the whole Vinci wingsuit project story and see the photos & videos here. Thibault wins the HP Z Book and his model will be staged and displayed at the Clos Lucé Castle in France. Big up to Thibault!

N°2: DaVinci Scythe Chariot by Antonio CAMBEROS

Antonio from Mexico chose to design the Scythe Chariot in 3D. The idea was to comply with the Da Vinci codex while adding modern techniques in order to make it “real” and “working”. Read the whole article about the Scythe Chariot and see the photos & videos here. Antonio wins the AMD FirePro W7000 graphic card, congratulations Antonio!

DaVinci 3D competition 2nd winner

N°3: Leonardo Da Vinci Battleship by Alain DUGOUSSET

Alain, impressed by Leonardo ideas, concepts and paintings decided to model the Da Vinci Battleship. He made the complete detail design of the machine including all the interior mechanisms, canon guns and the generated the full kinematic. He even made the battleship in perspectives comparing it with a modern boat ! Read the whole article about the Da Vinci Battleship and see the photos & videos here. Alain wins the AMD FirePro W5000 graphic card, congratulations Alain!

DaVinci 3D competition 3d winner

Please encourage all of them by having a look to their posts and projects on the Da Vinci 3D Experiences Community, comments and feedback are welcome :-)

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Sharing Energy in the City: 2030

By Aurelien

With the development of decentralized electricity and energy production, the sharing of energy between citizens, industries and public institutions will certainly reshape our relationship to energy in our everyday life. With this in mind, French electric utility company EDF decided to launch the prospective challenge “Sharing Energy in the City, 2030” in order to stimulate interdisciplinary innovations and to foster international opportunities dealing with this major and inspiring issue which affects us all.

Watch the video below to learn more about this initiative:

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If you are keen on the urbanization, energy and sustainability topics and working as a researcher or postgraduate student from a lab/school/university/incubator/cluster (or if you know someone in those fields), then this challenge is a fantastic opportunity to bring your project to life!  :D

6000€ in Prizes will be awarded to the most innovative and collaborative projects, but more importantly, a 6-month work placement, connection with key stakeholders and funding for your project from EDF are the real rewards of this Challenge.

All details regarding the expectations can be found on the dedicated website and Community “Sharing Energy in the City, 2030“. You can also tweet questions to @Challenge_2030. Don’t wait too long, the deadline for applications is March 31, 2014!



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