The modern world is full of tech solutions, and coming up with the idea of an innovative device is a challenge in itself. More than that, a winning idea does not always translate into a great product, as it should first materialize in flesh and blood or – product design.
We cannot share our excitement enough, telling you that we have not only managed to implement our startup idea in a product, but it has also won a prestigious Red Dot Award for the quality of design. Delighted with such high recognition, our team would like to share insights about what it took to get there.
What’s a Red Dot?
Red Dot is an organization with a 60-year history of promoting good design. Founded in Germany as a platform for national designers, it has eventually grown into a renowned international event that fosters communication and training of design-related matters. The award is given in three categories – product design, communication design, and design concept – to encapsulate the creative process’s entirety.
Getting an easily-recognized red dot on your product’s packaging serves a testimony that the device is safe, quality, innovative, and its design communicates a bigger story.
“The very fact of competing with giants like Apple and Samsung gives an incredible feeling. Winning an award in a competition like this when bringing your very first hardware product to the market feels like nothing else.” – says Misha Rudominski, Founder & CEO at nect WORLD.
Once we set our sights on creating a portable modem, it quickly became clear just how big of a challenge that was:
- First, we wanted to create an all-round quality product that would perform equally well on a trip, during a commute, and at home, which was a daunting engineering task.
- Moreover, we decided to give our customers as much freedom as possible without overwhelming them with features, so designers had to factor finding the right balance into the equation.
- Finally, we had to communicate all of this to users through the product’s appearance. nect MODEM would not be the only portable modem on the market, so we had to make sure people could tell how unique it was just by looking at it.
Thus, our goal was to come up with a design that inspires confidence while remaining functional. Thankfully, we have found the experienced and creative company, Concepter, that could stand up to the challenge.
Yevgenija Medvedeva, the head of design at Concepter and a pro in designing award-winning hardware products, has managed to find the right balance between functionality and appealing design. She pushed us to give it a try and submitted the design concept to the contest.
The first part of the success formula was making nect MODEM a truly portable solution. It had to be small, convenient to carry around, and not get in the way when you are in a hurry. Thus, we’ve decided to go with the “less is more” aesthetics.
All the fancy elements and weird shapes had to go away – after all, we sought usability, not the gimmicky looks. One thing we’ve decided to let go right away was the seemingly ubiquitous design choice of a stick protruding on the side of a laptop – something you would not want on the move.
Next, we used a magnetic sticker as a graceful way to secure the device on a laptop so that you could slide the entire thing in and out of a bag without dealing with flimsy connectors. As a bonus, it just felt satisfying to snap it on.
Finally, we’ve settled on recycled plastic as our portable modem’s casing. Although many companies use it as a marketing stunt, tech is undoubtedly moving towards sustainable solutions worldwide, and we felt it would send the right message.
As you can see, sometimes there’s a lot of effort behind a simple rectangle.
How to Create Award-Winning Design: Pro Tips
To wrap up, here are some of the critical insights obtained while working on nect MODEM that we want to share with you:
- Think Forward: Going against the current takes a lot of effort (and discouraging negative feedback), so be bold, especially when challenging the conventions – maybe that’s your path to recognition.
- Start Small: No matter how ambitious your goal is, the sooner you test the waters, the better. Coming up with an MVP will help you know your audience AND secure funding.
- Do What You Can Do Best: It takes a team to reach success, so make sure yours has all the necessary members. A visionary may not be keen on building the product or selling it to the customers, so make sure everyone fulfills their role.
- Understand Your Audience: We can’t stress this enough: we would never arrive at where we are today without trying to cater to customers’ expectations.
- Appreciate Success: Being humble helps to stay on track and keep a realistic perspective, but celebrating achievement whenever credit is due is no less critical.
Designing a technologically capable product that wins a prestigious award jury’s sympathy takes a lot of effort and expertise. However, the main component of our success is our audience. By understanding your needs, we could come up with the attractive and functional design of our portable modem, and we are grateful for this opportunity.