How we changed the product design

We prepared great news for you. New stylish and bright design for Raccoon.Clip is coming! And it’s you who can shape the end product! Learn how to do it in the post.

If you have already read my previous article Industrial design for a hardware startup. Personal experience you know the role design plays for a hardware startup. This time I am going to tell you why and when we decided to change the design of Raccoon.Clip and share our experience of working with hardware product development bureau.
We spent a year on Raccoon.Clip developement, searching for the most effective components, testing size, button positions and weight. But we didn’t pay a lot of attention to the design itself. Yes, we knew that it could look more stylish and more gaming-like, but it was actually not the main thing. But talking to our potential clients and testers we realized that almost everyone mentioned he would love to see the advanced design. The existing one (you can see it in all our video on Youtube) was estimated as “comfortable to use”, “functional”, but not “stylish” or “sexy”.

So continuing our policy of creating a device together with gamers, we decided to make these changes!
We made up our mind to spend a grant from Vernadsky Challenge for product design. This grant (₴200,000 = $7,500) just “lay idle”, because we promised ourselves not to spend it for everyday needs, but to postpone for something cool. And the industrial design was 100% the right thing to invest these money.

For industrial design of Raccoon.Clip we have chosen ARTKB, a full-cycle hardware product development bureau. Guys specialize in the development of consumer electronics, are known for the design of bestselling products (iBlazr, EcoIsme, Hushme, Cardiomo, HiDeez, etc) and were covered in popular media (Mashable, Engadget and Cnet among them).
We shared with ARTKB our basic principles — versatility for both hands, convenience of pressing buttons, compact size to keep hands free and affordable price. At the first stage we got almost 20 sketches — so inspired by the product idea the designer was. We discussed different variants and got 8 sketches at the second stage. Here you can see all of them:

According to the feedback of our users and the functional issues, we have chosen 2 leaders:

Both sketches have got almost an equal quantity of votes. Here are the reasons why users liked these sketches:
Sketch 1. The rounded shape lies better in the hand; a larger size allows to use a bigger battery for more hours of gaming; stylish light indication adds futurism.

Sketch 2. The compact size fits even the smallest hand; stylish gaming design is expressive and bright; modularity (removable front panel) allows to customize the appearance.

We decided to define the absolute winner together with our fans — by voting in the closed community on Facebook and by email. The final voting began on Wednesday, 24th. If you are interested to get involved, please contact me on abezrodna@raccoon.world or request to join our community on Facebook — Raccoon.World Experts.