Defining the Northstar

From the SEMA Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) – here is the take away from our discussion on the product-development landscape and diverse array of disciplines, resources and processes needed to create successful products that function exceptionally well and inspire their users.

Here is the handout:

Big Bang: Defining the Northstar


Devin Moore's Observations on the 2019 International Housewares Show

Risk vs. Reward: Notes from the 2019 International Home+Housewares Show


Earlier this year I was invited to speak about building connected product experiences at the 2019 International Home+Housewares Show. As a product development consultancy, Big Bang is in a special spot, where most of the senior team cut our teeth on consumer brands and products intended for mass retail, but now spend a good deal of time on early stage, technology enabled, software integrated products in the consumer, healthcare, and commercial spaces.

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Person looking at a blackboard illustrating complexity of connected experience

More Than IoT…Building a Connected Experience


The vision was a durable, easy to use device that illustrated the differences between competitive products. Our proposed solution was a friendly, engaging competition amongst sales reps and their customers: nurses and doctors. The objective was simple: insert a catheter into a device that measures force, and display the results on a tablet through an app. Then compare the result to a competitor’s product to show the audience the clear difference. The outcome: true customer engagement and improved patient care.

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Designing for Longevity

Designing for the Long Run in a Disposable World


Approximately 150 million mobile phones are discarded each year in the USA. Four hundred and twenty three thousand tons of computers were trashed or recycled in 2010. Twenty to fifty million tons of electronic waste is generated across the globe annually.


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Universal design benefits everyone

Designing for Seniors is Really Designing for Everyone


One of my favorite SNL sketches is about a product experience – specifically a product experience for seniors. The sketch is a spoof on the Alexa device from Amazon, but altered to be usable for the octogenarian crowd. Adjustments include a much louder voice, being able to respond to names other than “Alexa,” and an “uh-huh” function for long, rambling stories. Comedy aside, this sketch highlights an important consideration for product designers: who we design for matters, and if we’re not careful, our designs can unintentionally alienate the users.

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Beehive as an example of a design system

3 Reasons Why All Teams Need to Develop a Design System

Hardware and software is built by teams– often incredibly large teams– of people. The challenge to create coherent experiences multiplies exponentially as more people are added to the mix. Now layer on the necessity of creating an experience that aligns with the brand, as well as creative challenges related to design, and any project can easily become overwhelming, off-target, and unwieldy. But savvy teams know there’s a way to address these challenges before the design process begins – develop a Design System.

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The Zen of the Motorcycle

Why Discovering a Product’s Truth is Important to UX: Zen and the Art of Experience Design


“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right. If it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”

― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

More than two decades ago I had the opportunity to work with a team commissioned by a multinational beverage corporation to analyze drink vending machines with the goal of improving the customer’s experience. It was one of my first applications of QFD. Quality Function Deployment is an approach to identifying user needs and translating them into product specifications to meet those needs, and was developed in Japan in the 60’s by Yoji Akao; essentially gathering the subjective and creating objective specifications.

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Using product design to make a brand come to life

Using Product Design to Make a Brand Come to Life

How do you translate a 2D branding strategy into a 3D experience? That was the core question we sought to answer when working with Pitney Bowes on their new product design, the SendPro C-Series, a machine that streamlines the entire mailing and shipping process for users at any level.

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