Like lots of great ideas, this one stemmed from a personal inconvenience that we’re pretty sure most people can relate to. Whilst on holiday, our client discovered he had difficulty viewing his mobile phone screen in direct sunlight. He began to observe the people around him, watching the varied body positions that were adopted and quickly adjusted as the intensity of the sun made it too uncomfortable to maintain. He noticed the unnecessary stress on different body parts and that people would even move away to a shaded area temporarily just to see the mobile’s screen. “There had to be a universal solution” he thought.
When size matters
He wondered if iPad users experienced the same issue. Despite being under the same bright conditions as mobile phone users, the increased size of the device seemed to provide a sufficient barrier so users could relax on their back and clearly read their screen. So in this case, size seems to matter. With a lack of existing products that looked good, didn’t impede on phone operation or were a reasonable cost, he saw a gap in the market and contacted us to explore his idea further.
Test, refine and repeat
We began with creating multiple concepts through digital sketches. These sketches and mood boards enabled the rapid expansion of ideas, triggering preferences on how the product might look and perform. This process was continually refined until our customer was completely happy with how to take his vision forward. Without doubt this product needed to be tested so after creating a CAD for prototype, we 3D printed prototypes in-house. This time we focused on function, adjusting the design with user feedback whilst considering how to incorporate injection moulding friendly components so that it was cost efficient to produce.
Protection and design
Discussions on how to protect the product had ensued quite early on in the project and so we provided drawings to support the patent application. With a fully functioning prototype in hand, we produced multiple renders to show colour options and surface finishes to achieve the desirable look our customer sought. With strong visuals and a production file in place, it was certainly was an exciting moment to pass the CAD to the manufacturer.
The work didn’t stop there though. The name Shadey Attachments had already been established so we worked with them to build their brand, exploring colour ranges and special editions. We designed a number of packaging options which protected the product as well as distinguish it in the marketplace, creating photo-realistic renders to show the product in its packaging.