Doro specialises in the manufacture of mobile phones for senior users. Whilst the company had achieved a leading market position for this demographic with its range of flip phones, the transition of its brand attributes to a smartphone platform was proving more challenging.

For many (especially those 65 and over), the prospect of owning and using a smartphone is quite a scary prospect as they are products not always designed with seniors in mind. Icons, apps and menu systems are often found to be confusing. Consumer research identified a number of design target goals: robust but not overtly aggressive, solid not plasticky, slim but re-assuring to hold. The phone also had to be distinctive and to have a product identity that could be evolved on future Doro smartphone developments.

WMP’s design team immersed themselves in role-play wearing special gloves and eyewear especially designed to help simulate dexterity and sight impairment.

Prototyping and testing helped to identify a long list of attention to detail attributes. These included ideas for protecting the screen, side profiles that aid picking the smartphone up more easily from a work surface and intuitive placement of buttons on different faces of the phone.

The resulting product – the Doro 8040 – was launched in September 2017 and has already collected a host of industry awards.