Behind the scenes with Flintu's design process
Hey Friends of Flintu, Luke here! It's been a wild couple of months leading up to our upcoming product launch. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, jump on our mailing list to keep up to date.)
As product manager at Flintu, it's my job to make sure that the final product meets the needs of our customers in a way that's simple and intuitive. A major component of that process is overseeing the industrial design, or the process of defining how a product will look, function, and feel.
For us the design process starts with a couple cups of coffee and ends with a list of essential features and a sketch. From there, we slowly refine our design, through CAD drawings, 3D prints, user testing and, yes, the occasional heated discussion.
Our new product, SideKick by Flintu, has quite a few design restrictions which has made for a particularly exciting process. The design nerd in me loves every second of making a product that's functional and designed to fit users' everyday lives. They say that working within constraints builds creativity, and we've got two major restrictions.
First, SideKick is as feature-packed as a swiss army knife. As you've seen from recent blog posts, SideKick does a lot, and yet it still needs to be pocketable. That means every millimeter of the product has to be engineered meticulously! We've spent a lot of time testing and iterating to find the best configuration for all of the pieces that make SideKick tick.
Second, SideKick by Flintu lives in a very harsh environment -- your pocket or handbag. This means both design and materials need to be smart and tough! Like I said earlier, my job is to make sure that the product meets customer needs, so it's especially important to me that we end up with a product that can withstand the rough and tumble of real life.
There you have it. That's our design process in a nutshell. We're in the thick of product development for SideKick by Flintu, so we're living and breathing this stuff. At best, the process is smooth and linear, at worst... well let's not talk about that ;o)