User Research – Qualitative interviews and observational research
Ideation and sketch development
Design Language System
This DLS would then help to inspire and guide Zyxel’s in-house design team, helping them to maintain design consistency across a wide range of different form factors. WMP’s design team facilitated several workshops and interviewed a wide range of stakeholders in North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia. This enabled them to gain a deeper understanding for the many localised issues, user needs and preferences.
The team interviewed Zxyel’s global representatives, service providers and ender users to identify market needs, common problems and requirements. The user research provided insights into a wide number of issues. Areas discussed ranged from placement of devices in and around the home through to more detailed thoughts regarding an ideal number of LEDs.
We analysed a range of competitor brands and products to ensure the new design language was appropriately differentiated.
Four key themes were identified based on form, materials and interaction details. These themes were used as inspiration to develop a wide range of sketch concepts.
User research findings were analysed and the insights translated into 2 design checklists of Primary and Secondary goals.
A wide range of concept themes and directions were developed, inspired by the insights from an initial phase of user research.
These themes were developed in greater detail and each design language was applied on 4 different archetype form factors; a Photo Frame, Lay Down, Mesh and a Tower.
The archetypes were deliberately chosen to test how the physical attributes of each theme could apply across different device forms and to then assess how successful the outcomes were.
The archetypes were modelled in 3D CAD and high-fidelity renders were created along with visual 3D printed prototypes.
Key to the design language is the concept of a wing-shaped top panel that tapers to a sharp point at each end. The overall theme blends soft and approachable forms with surfaces that are delineated by fading crease details. This creates intriguing, dynamic forms that alter when viewed from different angles.
The design language system covers details from Geometry and Proportions through to part count flexibility and CMF.
The design team at Zyxel Networks have been able to successfully use the DLS to implement several new product developments.