Moment of Truth in Designing a Differentiated Product

By Estelle

This post originally appeared at Core 77

Watches

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.

CATIA Natural Sketch

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.

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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 !

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#DDay, Innovation Day

By Aurelien

For the 70th Anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, better known as D-Day, our Passion For Innovation Institute created a tribute to the engineers of the Normandy landings. To learn more about the back-story of this project, I sat down with Marie-Pierre Aulas, who worked on the D-Day project as the producer.

Q: How did you manage to find archived drawings for modeling the Normandy landings?

This was probably the most challenging part of the project! Let me share an anecdote; when we worked with the Royal Engineers Museum in London to pull from the archives of the Mulberry-B Harbour, we found that the index of the archive was lost! Until then, no one had tried to explore them since the end of WWII. Dealing with thousands of archive pieces without an index was extremely difficult, especially given the time constraints we had. So we chose to focus on the engineering details of the Mulberry-B, such as the anchors and mobile binding system of its floating roadway.

In other instances, we only had scans to work with, and some of them were of very bad quality and could barely be read at all.

Q: It seems that you worked with a lot of stakeholders!

As you can imagine, pieces of content found their way to many different places after WWII, ending up in the hands of museums as well as individuals and associations. So we worked with various museums, libraries and associations across the US, UK and France.  We actually found very valuable information from fan clubs thanks to very passionate people! Here are a couple examples:

We worked with the Challenge LCVP to model the Landing Craft, Vehicle & Personnel (LCVP):

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For the Waco CG-4A Glider, we worked with the Silent Wings Museum:

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And for modeling the Mulberry-B Harbour, we worked with the Royal Engineers Museum in London.

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Here is the complete list of museums and associations we worked with:

Q: What has been the impact of this project so far? What are the next steps?

The TV documentaries we contributed to were broadcast in the past weeks in the US (PBS: 5M audience), France (France3 TV channel: 3.1M audience, trending topic on Twitter)  and other countries. DVDs of these documentaries are also available, as well as a book in French, and an exhibition of 3D experiences in the Cité de la Mer museum in Cherbourg, France.

We’re also hosting an immersive virtual reality center on the Ouistreham beach with interactive 3D tables, a 3D cave, and Oculus Rift experiences.

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Beyond education for the general public, uncovering the archives and bringing them to life with virtual reality has helped with the awareness of the Normandy landings site; the Mulberry-B Harbour is now an official UNESCO World Heritage candidate.

You can see more of the recreations and the project on the Dassault Systemes’ D-Day site.

A Tribute to the Engineers of D-Day

By Suzanne

On May 28, PBS featured the documentary “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets” which includes and highlights work done by Dassault Systemes’ Passion for Innovation Institute. Earlier this month Dassault Systèmes, in association with WGBH Boston and the PBS science series NOVA recently hosted “A Tribute to the Engineering Minds of D-Day” at WGBH headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts not far from our headquarters in Waltham.  An audience of more than 200 dignitaries, veterans, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) leaders and educators attended the event to see and discuss key technological and engineering innovations  used during D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy. The innovations will be featured in the two-hour NOVA production in association with MC4, LCL, Dassault Systèmes and Canopee-CNDP.

As part of  this 70th anniversary of D-Day, Dassault Systèmes’ Passion for Innovation Institute embarked on an ambitious 3D reconstruction project to safeguard blueprints, notes and government documents capturing the remarkable engineering achievements of D-Day. To preserve this valuable moment in history,  Dassault Systèmes created scientific and accurate 3D models of the following  war innovations:

  • The Landing Craft, Vehicle & Personnel (LCVP) designed by American businessman Andrew Jackson Higgins which carried a platoon-sized CK complement of men and weapons to the beaches of Normandy.
  • The Waco CG-4A gliders relatively small, lightweight and maneuverable planes. These silent gliders landed troops in enemy territory during the early hours of the June 6 invasion.
  • The Mulberry Harbor one of the most extraordinary technological feats of WWII. An artificial harbor built in England, it was transported across the English Channel and assembled off the coast at Arromanches to unload the vast quantities of supplies and men that were needed for battle. The Mulberry Harbor was the first temporary deep water facility of its kind ever devised.

During the event the attendees got a “sneak peek” from producer Paula Apsell, Senior Executive Producer, NOVA & Director of the WGBH Science Unit, of highlights from the documentary showing how NOVA as it joins an elite team as they carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary D-Day beachheads of Normandy, revealing the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses and ultimately liberate Europe from the Nazis.

Paul Apsell

After a welcome by Sara Larsen, VP North America  Marketing and Communications, the Dassault Systemes Passion for Innovation Team showed attendees a 3D presentation that brought to life through 3D reconstruction, the Mulberry Harbor.

Attendees at D-Day Event

As today, only pieces of the Harbor remain requiring the Dassault Systèmes team to compile what remained of the original plans from the Royal Engineers Museum in London, the construction and maintenance manuals, the aerial photographs taken at the time and additional information provided by Tim Beckett, the son of Mulberry Harbor designer Allan Beckett, himself a marine engineer. Mr. Beckett was a guest of the event and with Nicolas Serikoff of the Dassault Systemes Passion for innovation team narrated a trip through the accurate, scientific 3D reconstruction of the Harbor which enabled him to see and experience his father’s critical work.

Tim Beckett on the Mulberry Harbor

Following the video presentations Paula Apsell, hosted a lively Q&A with some key participants of the project:

  • Doug Hamilton, Director, NOVA’s “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets”
  • Mehdi Tayoubi, Passion for Innovation Institute Director & Experiential Strategy VP for Dassault Systèmes
  • Nicolas Serikoff, D-Day Project Manager, Passion for Innovation Institute, Dassault Systèmes
  • Tim Beckett, Director, Beckett Rankine Marine Engineers & Son of Major Allan Beckett of Britain’s WWII Engineers
  • Sylvain Pascaud, D-Day Expedition Leader

Panel at D-Day event

The audience was thoroughly engaged and if not for the refreshments ready to be served would have gone on for at least another half hour.

During the cocktail reception the attendees were able to get hands on experience with the 3D technology including the recreations of the Mulberry Harbor, Waco Glider and the Higgins LCVB. In its commitment to STEM education a number of attendees were invited to bring their middle and high school children to the event.

Using Z-Space at D-Day Event

D-Day event father daughter

While the technology was engaging even more engaging were the veterans of World War II who were there on D-Day who were invited to attend the event. These veterans were given the “Legion of Honor” award by the French Government, the highest military decoration in France:

  • Mr. Isadore Cutler
  • Mr. Edward Estey
  • Mr. Robert Haley
  • Mr. Richard Pinardi
  • Mr. William Poulios
  • Mr. Harvey Segal
  • Mr. S. Eliot Sklar

Attendees at D-Day Event

Several of the veterans posed with the team from Dassault  Systemes including from left Sara Larsen, Nicolas Serikoff, Marie-Pierre Aulas and Mehdi Tayoubi.

You can see more of the recreations and the project at the Dassault Systemes’ D-Day site.

 



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