Product Design Trends: The Future

Within the tech industry, it is becoming increasingly important to broaden our skills and embrace new ones that are paving the way of our future. Product design is described as a whole process with many different factors that go into the design. From concept to completion, an idea evolves through a life cycle of UX/UI designers, graphic/visual designers, user researchers, data analysts, and prototypers to name a few. As we see day to day, current trends of messaging, virtual reality, all things “smart”, and data storage are consistently changing.

20150219_183449

Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley recently held a Product Design Demo at The California Art Institute in Sunnyvale. With roughly 200 tech enthusiasts in attendance for the night, the event showcased companies such as:

  • Zackees– the World’s first turn signal glove
  • FlameStower– designs/manufactures energy products and services for global markets
  • PocketLab– a wireless multi-sensor and software platform that enables anyone to engage in open ended science experiments
  • VivaLnk– developing integrated solutions with its ultra-thin and flexible eSkin™ wearable technology platform
  • Nixie– the first wearable camera that is also flyable
  • The Wearhaus Arc– Bluetooth headphones that let you wirelessly sync music with multiple people around you
  • Orion– creates communication accessories and services that connect people
  • Ministry of Supply– research-based design used to create purposeful products for a life spent in motion
  • Flashtag Photo– an interactive photo booth that automatically prints photos taken at your event when they’re tagged on Instagram or Twitter.

Sign up to attend the next drinks & demos event from Tech in Motion by finding the closest one here.

Throughout the night,Tech in Motion organizers interviewed the guests and demo companies on what some of their favorite products are, what the future holds for product design, and the hottest design trends on the market now. Here are some of their responses:

What are some of the trends in product design for 2015?

Richie Zeng, CEO/Founder of Wearhaus  

“I’m seeing a lot of connected devices and products built around connectivity with phones as the central hub.”

photo 5

Sylvia Wu, Design Lead at Orion

“Wearables that add value to people’s lives, or products that are specific for communication. Products utilizing voices are becoming popular as well because you can convey emotions through tone, for example Siri and Amazon Echo.”

Clifton Zoozeboom, CEO/Co-founder of PocketLab

“Simplicity. Everyone is following the ‘Apple Way’.”

IMG_0529

What makes your product stand out among competitors?

Alena Laptsinskaya, Director of Customer Relations for Zackees

“We make better quality products. We have sensors that detect ambient light so that the LED will be brighter at night. We have a feature that disconnects the light after a certain amount of time to save battery, and you can change out batteries, unlike our competitors.”

What was the story behind your product and what does the future look like for it?

Adam Kell, Founder at FlameStower

“We’re aiming to impact energy services, and we’re also currently partnering up with the Guatemalan Government as well as doing some work in Ethiopia.”

“In 3 months we will start working on emergency energy solutions. Like for earthquake kits.”

IMG_4038

What is your current product you are involved with and how does it play a role in consumer’s lives?

Guy Horgan, Sales consultant for Ministry of Supply

“We do ‘smart’ men’s clothing… We are looking into eyewear as well.”

“We want our customers to feel comfortable in our clothes all day. We want work life integration. Our customers can go from work, to dinner, to a movie, and then out for drinks without the need to change or any discomfort.”

Interested in participating in a Tech in Motion event? Contact your city’s team here.

20150219_180526

Audience favorites of the evening were Nixie, PocketLab, and VivaLnk to name a few. Be sure to keep an eye out for these companies and how they will be impacting the product world and possibly our very own lives.

IMG_4026

20150219_181234

There’s an exciting lineup of events coming up for Tech in Motion in Silicon Valley this spring and summer. Join in on the next meetup by becoming a group member and see what’s on the docket for April and May.

Tech Talk with Lose It!

This past spring, the Boston chapter of Tech in Motion hosted an exciting evening of demos and drinks based around green and health tech startups, including Lose It!, a weight loss application. Tech in Motion Boston took the time to sit down with Community Manager Whitney Klinkner of Lose It! to get the inside scoop on her company and the startup scene in Boston.

loseit3

Q: First off, can you give us a quick introduction to “Lose It!”?

Lose It! is a program that helps folks lose weight by managing their calories in and calories out- a pretty basic concept. We’ve taken it to the next level by making the calorie counting process as painless as possible. The app was started out as a way to make calorie counting easier (as opposed to the old fashioned way of pen and paper!). Then it got picked up for an Apple commercial back in 2008 which helped skyrocket the app and the company. We started off in Copley Square, but made the move to the seaport in 2012. When we moved there, we had about 5 people, and now we are at 12. We have more than doubled our size which is pretty exciting.

We just hit 32 million pounds lost with the app and right now we have about 19 million users; there are about a million people on average who are using the app regularly, which is great. We are consistently in the top 5 for the health and fitness store on iTunes.

Q: With over 19 million users and a team of only 12 people, did you guys find yourselves struggling to keep up with the demand of the app?

It’s actually not as hard as it might seem with our smaller team. When we first started out, the main idea was to get as many things done as soon as you could. Now with a bigger team, we are able to prioritize what needs to get done and have better control so things don’t fall through the cracks. With more people too we are able to give our users more of what they want; one big thing our users have loved is integrating our app with other devices like Fitbit and Nike Fuelband. Our CEO has always believed that a small group of hard working people can do extraordinary things – so that’s been our philosophy from day one. We are hiring a few more people and are excited to grow and accomplish even more!

Q: Just as a startup in general, were there things you found difficult?

One of the great things about Lose It! is that so many have heard about it through word of mouth. Our user growth has been huge, but managing the of the demands of all these people has been a bit of a challenge. We get hundreds of emails from users each week with items they’d like to see added to Lose It!; managing those expectations has been a bit difficult from where I sit. We’d love to implement everything under the sun to help folks to achieve their goals, but it’s just not feasible. We continue to grow and sustain the program in the way that we think makes sense while incorporating feedback from users to shape new features.

Q: Boston is becoming a great place for startups lately, so how do you like the idea of being a Boston startup?

I think being a startup in Boston is awesome. There are so many smart people here and lots of new graduates with all of these great ideas. Unfortunately a lot of these guys and girls go to the west coast after they graduate. I think we need to make the up and coming graduates more aware of all the cool things happening in the Boston start up scene so we can keep more or this new talent local. I know #DownloadBoston has been doing a great job of trying to let people know about local apps and having the city of Boston celebrate them, which I’d really like to see more of. We should feel proud the start up culture here in Boston.

Q: So you guys did a demo with Tech in Motion, do you see an importance to a meet up group like Tech in Motion for startups?

loseit

One of our goals for this year was to go out for more community events like Tech in Motion. It’s a great way to get our name out there, and to meet new people in the Boston startup community. A lot of people didn’t realize we were here in Boston and so the exposure is great for us as a company. It’s also great to learn about other startups in the area and see what they are doing. We are all in the same boat trying to grow our companies. It’s great to make connections and help each other out when it makes sense.

Q: Final Question: can you leave some words of wisdom for those wanting to get into a startup?

I think that if you want to join a startup, you have to be prepared to work very hard and never have the attitude of “that’s not my job.” In my experience, you have to wear a lot of different hats, especially in the very early stages. No day is ever the same and you get a lot of exposure to parts of a business you’d never imagine. Once the company grows you can figure out which areas you really enjoy and sort of steer yourself in that direction, which I think is something you might not get if you started in a big company. I would recommend a start up to anyone who likes a challenge and and does not mind working hard.