September 24, 2013

Years ago, WhiteBoard Product Solutions (then known as Leisure Design) had a website feature with a huge fun factor. Each employee had an onscreen miniature version of themselves, which when moused over, would morph into an alternate view. As the years went by, the site got overhauled and the cool people feature got eliminated. Recently, however, by popular demand, the decision was made to bring the people animations back to the site! It communicates to potential clients and employees WhiteBoard’s dynamic creative culture.

The next step in bringing the animated people feature back to the site took place in the creative minds of the team members. For some, the hard part wasn’t coming up with a great idea – it was having to pick just one. This proved the most difficult for serious movie buffs.

The real fun took place in our in-house photo studio, where we had people fishing, doing a wheelie on their customized bike, and rappeling from the ceiling’s girders. For others, it involved multiple wardrobe changes or bringing in armloads of nerf guns.

Some of the team member’s visions required additional post-production magic. At WhiteBoard, we’re all about finding ways to turn great ideas into a reality, and this creative exercise was no exception. It was a vital step to ensure that each employee’s personality jumped off the screen. A personal bio accompanies each transforming photo, giving an additional glimpse into what makes each of us tick.

Since going live, the response has been overwhelmingly positive (from clients, friends and moms). At WhiteBoard Product Solutions, we’re very proud of the dynamic, brilliant mix of talent that sets us apart as the go-to product design firm. We focus on “people, place and process”, and having the right people is the most important part of that equation.

See for yourself!

Form Follows Reality™

Our Approach: Form Follows Reality™ You have heard the phrase “form follows function.” It was coined by architect Louis Sullivan in 1896 to emphasize how a building’s design should always reflect its intended purpose. It has since been adapted by product designers to guide product development. We at WhiteBoard Product Solutions believe that function is only one of the essential requirements for a truly successful product design. Our mantra is Form Follows Reality™. Form Follows Reality is rooted in the original appreciation for function, often one of the most important realities, but it also understands that there are other factors that determine the success of a product. Every project has multiple requirements, constraints and needs that must be defined to enable a product to succeed in the marketplace. These are the realities that inform the decisions that drive the design process. Form Follows Reality recognizes that function, aesthetics, cost of goods, timeline, R&D budget, tooling investment, manufacturing capabilities, distribution channels, merchandisability, and a product’s competitive environment are sometimes competing realities that need to be identified and weighed against each other to drive a project to achieve success. How does WhiteBoard do this? We collaborate with our clients to identify and rank each project’s most important realities. We listen. We question. We challenge. We ideate. We define. Once a project begins, we use those ranked realities to drive the decision-making process. And we make sure that every member of the team understands how those realities fit into the end result. That means marketers, engineers, manufacturers, and designers are all working toward the same goal from the very start of a project. Say we are designing a retail product that our client wants to sell in large quantities. Along with a variety of other factors, we will determine at the start of the design process how many units will fit on a 12-inch shelf. If reducing the size of a product or its packaging by just a fraction of an inch can make the difference between five or six products being displayed, our entire team works together to determine the most successful solution. If this collaborative approach sounds like common sense, it is. But it’s also too frequently missing in product design, where departments often operate as separate fiefdoms and lack of communication between each department can lead to late-stage changes that escalate costs and delay schedules. By following Form Follows Reality, iconic product designs can be created that not only meet or exceed our client’s needs and expectations, but succeed in the marketplace and quickly become industry standards. WhiteBoard