The perspective and the red dot that follows
Pivotal is a start-up product brand that tackles how to incorporate ergonomic designs into active traveling.
It started with a CEO, a product owner, marketing director and me.
Our team had this travel gear idea that provides an ergonomic handle that best fits sporty travel lifestyle. Our team had the opportunity to showcase the products at the Utah Outdoor show, and I got to lead the team and propose creative initiatives to make sure that Pivotal travel gear shows its full potential.
Start-up projects like this were always fun to work with. You think you know what you are doing because design & product school thought and trained you how to create a brand or a product from textbooks and class-anxiety-driven discussions. You know those weekend where you tried to finesse your design processes, and understand product life-cycles. Building rules for yourself and others around efficiency. Make sure you push clarity in your briefs. Create a strong visual guideline. Decide and collaborate all together. Define the design expectations, roles, and scope. Nope. The design processes helped, but they weren't enough. These kinds of projects request a tremendous sense of flexibility in your part.
Challenges and pitfalls will sidetrack you and they are in every corner of the product life-cycle, you know it will but kept charging. I created color combination and pallets for the product sets. Produced ephemerals. Coordinated and design the experiential booths. I executed digital outputs that served both sales team and consumers. Product team wants their packaging - I delivered a packaging system that was elastic for multiple SKU's. But the biggest challenge we encountered as a team was around the product visualization.
We understand the value of the product, we tested it with travelers and active users, and they understood the value of it, but the disconnect that the users mentioned was that at first glance, especially if you are staring at the front of the bag- the top handle gets lost. One of them mentioned, "When I see it on the rack it looks like an ordinary bag - I do not know how to interact with it".
Surfacing the movement of the handle is not enough either, we need to communicate the "why", or the reason to why is that handle fits their active traveling lifestyle. I proposed various ways to visualize and communicate the value of the handle to our active users and that the ergonomic properties benefit them. We look at active travelers such as skiers and lacrosse players. These kinds of travelers haul so many gears and put an immense strain in their hands.
I proposed isometric perspectives and various aerial shots to make sure certain parts of the product were highlighted. I applied that to our print and digital outputs. Oh by they way the timeline on this was 3 months- so you know, no prsessh.
We launched and showcased at the Outdoor show. This effort was intense and exhilarating. The product and the whole design initiative had both great and bad feedback, but we gathered them, took the one that best fits the product's future and implemented them. Also, it didn't hurt that it won a red dot award after the Outdoor show.