Archive for the ‘Customer Experience’ Category

Are you satisfying your customers? John Edson says that’s not enough

May 9th, 2014

What’s the role of design in creating customer intimacy? (more…)

Head before hands

December 9th, 2013

By Mark Dziersk

Design strategy has been especially top of my mind over the past few weeks as LUNAR’s led a major design initiative for a global-leading consumer packaged goods company. We keep coming back to the simplest definition of “design strategy” that I know: Head before hands.

But just in case that’s too simple, here’s another way to express it: “Strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” It’s the art of planning and directing overall operations and resource expenditures.

Strategy is the idea that we center where we are now, create the goals and dreams we see in the future and then map a plan to get there.

But strategy also needs to be flexible enough to take advantage of unforeseeable opportunities and unpredictable changes that require — to use a football term — “calling an audible.” That’s when a quarterback sees something quirky with the play that’s been phoned into his helmet and calls a new play out loud and in the moment and that responds appropriately to the actual circumstances.

We live today in a world where many of the previous rules of a marketing or distribution strategy have been changed forever. The Internet informs us instantly and exposes empty promises. Products can no longer be pushed at people. In fact any product that does not consider the user first no longer makes it to the shelf or store because the ability to authentically address user needs defines its success or failure.

The ideas that have traditionally been part of a marketing strategy or distribution strategy, strategic roadmap, corporate strategy, product launch strategy and innovation strategy are no longer enough.

The Harvard Business Review points this out:

Today’s dynamic markets and technologies have called into question the sustainability of competitive advantage. Under pressure to improve productivity, quality, and speed, managers have embraced tools such as TQM, benchmarking, and reengineering. Dramatic operational improvements have resulted, but rarely have these gains translated into sustainable profitability.

HBR goes on to argue that over the last two decades, tools like design have taken the place of strategy, moving managers further away from viable competitive positions.

Michael Porter argues that operational effectiveness, although necessary to superior performance, is not sufficient, because its techniques are easy to imitate. In contrast, the essence of strategy is choosing a unique and valuable position rooted in systems of activities that are much more difficult to match.

The good news is that since design can be one of the most difficult tools to imitate and quantify, it can become the enabler of truly effective strategies that are simple, sometimes prescriptive but always flexible in addressing — first and foremost — the user needs, for as Charles Eames once famously said, “Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.”

In many ways design has always been about putting head before hands. Design strategy is increasingly recognized by leading companies as an exceedingly effective way to succeed in today’s markets — a way to stake out a unique and valuable position.

Now’s the time to build on this opportunity, the opportunity to leverage design as strategy. There have never been more the great design examples out there; let’s grab this moment.

Mark Dziersk is Managing Director of LUNAR Chicago.

LUNAR tackles home health care with TABLU project [Part 3]

November 25th, 2013

The TABLU home health care project is entering a phase where our creative juices really start flowing: early design prototyping. (more…)

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LUNAR’s Ice Cream Sunday!

November 21st, 2013

LUNAR is celebrating the Museum of Craft & Design’s “New West Coast Design 2″ exhibit with free admission to the museum and free ice cream this Sunday, November 24!  If you’re in San Francisco, don’t miss out on this very cool event!

Visit the museum at 2569 3rd Street between 1-3 pm, enjoy your ice cream, and then tour the museum’s exhibit, which features the latest in great West Coast design, including the LUNAR-designed Belle-V ice cream scoop and early prototypes.

We’ll be serving Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous’ yummy ice cream using the Belle-V scoop and LUNAR’s VP of Design, Jeff Salazar, will be there to share his design philosophy as well as the creative process behind the scoop. Special thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous for providing the ice cream!

Hope to see you this Sunday, from 1-3, at the Museum of Craft & Design, 2569 3rd Street in SF.  Bring your family, tell your friends and get ready to enjoy great ice cream as well as some fantastic design!

Please RSVP here.

Making bold design work for entrepreneurs

November 15th, 2013

Bold design expressions can be one of the most important differentiators for any company, but especially for startups.

LUNAR’s Matthis Hamann and Roman Gebhard explained why while sharing a few case studies at the Explorers Festival in Lisbon last week.

The festival is one of the largest events for entrepreneurs in Europe.

“Our experience shows that a solid design process, the right tools and a user-centric sensibility can definitely create better products and services,” Roman told several hundred attendees.

Roman and Matthis took attendees through case studies that covered:

  • a hardware and software solution for Siemens Bosch that connects devices in the home in a way that addresses real needs,
  • the VELA cycle trainer and NOVA climbing wall that challenge the design conventions of exercise equipment in the home,
  • Piamo, a product that turns any microwave into a personal espresso machine, and
  • Mo, a modern urban mobility system, based on a flexible, simple, affordable and sustainable combination of bike rental system, local public transport and car sharing.

“We believe bold design expressions that shift traditional paradigms can be especially helpful to entrepreneurs who are coming into markets with exciting, new ideas,” Matthis said.

Watch the video of their presentation here :

Three IDSA wins: Vela, Nova and SF Prep

July 3rd, 2013

LUNAR has won a Gold and two Bronze awards from IDSA for VELA, SF Prep and NOVA!

The Industrial Designers Society of America honored LUNAR this month with a Gold award for VELA, a cycle trainer designed by the team at LUNAR Europe in Munich that challenges the design expression of exercise equipment.

From a functional object, it transforms from workout tool to sculpture, showing off the user’s passion for their lifestyle through outstanding aesthetics. And clever integration of beautiful projections around the bike create an immersive training experience. VELA shifts the paradigm of training at home, making it a celebrated activity.

IDSA also recognized our work on SF Prep and NOVA with Bronze awards.

LUNAR partnered with the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management to understand why so few residents are prepared in any way for an earthquake, and what could be done to empower and motivate them to take action.

The outcome is a simple-to-use, affordable website that uses local San Francisco companies to deliver earthquake preparedness right to residents’ doorsteps through a web-based subscription service. By delivering earthquake preparedness products and learning’s over time, SF Prep gradually engages residents in the process and motivates them to ever-increasing levels of preparedness.

Like VELA, NOVA transforms perceptions of home exercise into a compelling experience. The climbing wall consists of panels with strategic patterns of cut-outs that create visually integrated climbing holds. Light patterns highlight climbing routes as they shine from behind the specific holds for programmed climb. Users control their route selection and receive personalized training through the NOVA Smartphone application.

We’re thrilled to be recognized by our peers in the design world. Congrats to the talented members of the LUNAR team who contributed to these projects!

iovera°’s pain-relief capabilities in the news

April 28th, 2013

The LUNAR-designed iovera° device made TV news April 25 demonstrating its powerful pain-relief capabilities. (more…)

LUNAR’s John Edson shows you how to “Design Like Apple”

March 13th, 2013

From his earliest days at Apple, Steve Jobs set the standard that all products should be “insanely great.” (more…)

A “Food Manager” on my refrigerator?

January 16th, 2013

Do I really need a “Food Manager” on my refrigerator? (more…)

LUNAR welcomes Doug Hiemstra & secures ISO 13485 certification

November 6th, 2012

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Doug Hiemstra as Director of Life Sciences. (more…)

LUNAR helps IGNITE a new approach to fitness

October 17th, 2012

Buzz is building for IGNITE, a software and hardware solution designed by LUNAR that takes a new approach to improving your health. (more…)

Kim Lenox emcees Design by Fire Oct. 12 in SF

October 11th, 2012

If you’re an interaction design pro, we hope to see you at Design by Fire this Friday, Oct. 12, in San Francisco. (more…)

Helping SF get ready for the “big one” — the story continues

October 2nd, 2012

SF Prep continues to gain steam as a compelling way to get people actively engaged in preparing for the next big earthquake. (more…)

Helping SF get ready for the “big one”

September 6th, 2012

Northern Californians know the next big earthquake is likely coming within the next 20 years, but only a fraction of the population is ready for the shaking and its aftermath. (more…)

LUNAR helps develop next-gen robotic hand for Sandia National Labs

August 21st, 2012

LUNAR client Sandia National Laboratories has announced a next generation robotic hand — dubbed the Sandia Hand (more…)