wireless charging lamp

voila!

Team Project

Project Timeline:

16 weeks (Aug 26 - Dec 16, 2019)

Deliverables:

Finished working prototype

Process book

Process video

Advertisement video

 

Roles:

User and market research

Concept ideation

Videography

Marketing and communications

Branding

Overview

"Entrepreneurship has become a core component in every discipline like design, engineering, business, and marketing. For this team project, each member will have to champion in each category: design, manufacturing, business plan, marketing, sales, point of purchase, advertising, financing, inventory, and customer relation. This project is a holistic approach to both DFMA (Design for ease of Assembly/Manufacturing) and entrepreneurship.

The goal for this project is to understand how design could transform to both manufacturing and market."

Meet the Team

Alyssa Auw

senior vice president of marketing and communications

Anna Chi

senior vice president of research and product development

Karthik Subramanian

chief technologies officer

Our Company: voila!

Our Mission Statement

At voila!, we strive to create unique solutions that make big differences by addressing small problems.

Our designs focuses on consolidating existing tools, removing visual clutter, and simplifying processes to make every interaction and each day feel seamless.

Our Design Philosophy

Craft: Decision-making through care and intention.

Empathy: Form a genuine connection between people and their tools.

Focus: Deliver solutions we are proud of.

Futurism: Present a new spin on how integrated solutions can simplify and enhance the mundane.

Company Branding

Before jumping to product ideation, we began by creating our brand identity. Having already established a mission statement and design philosophy, we moved on to crafting our visual brand language, including a logo, color scheme, and reference images.

(logo created by me, reference images, color, typography curated by Anna Chi).

Research and Development:

the target user

We identified target customer segments and detailed a target user profile. To do this, we Interviewed users about daily routines and consolidated the most repeated activities into a common daily routine, and consolidated a report of findings from user surveys and interviews of similar day-to-day habits and preferences.

We found that our users enjoy routine and like to feel that they are in control and responsible with their time and resources, so products that are useful and can be incorporated into their routine is most appealing. 

user persona

We created a user persona of a target user to have a profile for reference as we start concept generation.

user environment

We found that clutter due to limited desk space was a major issue for users.

 

Users spent the most time at a desk - either one at their work space, or at their bedside. We photographed these spaces to gain better understanding of the environment our users are in the majority of their day.

Concept Ideation

We found that majority of users struggled with frustrations of limited space and unorganized bedside table tops. We also found the two most common products found on or around bedside tables are phone chargers and lamps.

The voila! lamp consolidates these two main products to save space on users' bedside tables.

market research

There are many products out on market offering wireless charging or light. However, while there are some products that include both wireless charging and light together, the components are not fully integrated together in the product. Prices for these products vary.

We found that prices come in a range, but generally fall between $20-$30.

 

Very few products in the market consolidate the components of the wireless charger and lamp.​

concept sketches and final concept

We decided on having a mood lamp with the wireless charging pad on its top, which was most intuitive for a user to know how to place their phone. 

reference images

We collected reference images based off keywords to serve as inspiration for form generation. (Curated by Anna Chi)

 

Keywords: minimal, cohesive, subtle, and warm.

ideation sketches and models

We sketched possible forms, drawing inspiration from our reference images. We then selected our favorite shapes from the sketches, and made CAD mock ups for to survey users which forms they liked best.

We found that rectangular shapes would be more cohesive in their surroundings. Because of this, we experimented with different fillets in comparison to tabletops. (Sketches by Anna Chi)

Please click here to refer to pages 15 and 16 our PDF process book and read more about this exploration. 

product iteration and CMF exploration

We wanted our product to be calming, warm, and simple. We explored possible colors, materials, and textures, before selecting matte textured plastic and wood for material and soft off-white and tan for color. To match our CFD, we also decided to use warm lighting

After deciding our material, we illustrated multiple iterations of possible designs on how the materials could be combined. We focused on experimenting with the ratio of wood to plastic, and how the wood can be paired with the lamp shade.

Our final design was chosen for its simplicity. Having a wood veneer on top and a wood base at the bottom made the elements cohesive throughout the product. In addition, having majority of the product be the lamp shade allows for the product to be more illuminating. 

(Sketches by Anna Chi)

Business Model and Materials

business model plans

We drafted different business models plans for our company. This included key patterns, key activities, value propositions, customer relationship, customer segments, key resources, channels, cost structure, and revenue streams. This is the final draft of our business model.

Please refer to pages 19-22 of our PDF process book to read about our previous business model drafts. 

product components and bill of material

Manufacturing Process

We utilized CNC wood cutting machines, 3D printers, and laser cutters as part of our manufacturing process. After the main components of the product were crafted, we hand-assembled each lamp. 

Please refer to pages 41-64 of our PDF process book to read in detail about our manufacturing process and assembly manual.

Marketing

We opened an Instagram account to advertise our product. 

Throughout the semester, we advertised different campaigns and created posters to be hung around campus. By creating a presence, we were able to successfully attract attention to our product and sell pre-orders. 

Please refer to pages 65-72 of our PDF process book to read in detail about our virtual and in-person marketing strategies.

Pop-Up Store and Final Product

To inspire our pop-up shop layout, we researched different store displays such as Target and Best Buy. Overall, we ended up selling out of all our our product stock. We found that most of our customers bought our product to gift to families and friends for the holiday season. Having predicted this beforehand, we designed our packaging to be simple and gifting-ready.

Please refer to pages 73-80 of our PDF process book to read in detail about our point-of-purchase and pop-up shop results. 

Project Insights and Reflections

In brief, this project was both challenging but also very insightful. It taught us a lot about the details of marketing, costs, prototyping, and manufacturing. It was also useful in allowing us to move past the usual prototype stage that typical design studio projects stop at. Additionally, this project was a lot of fun in the end at the pop up shop, and seeing our products appreciated and sold was both satisfying but also very encouraging. While we understand that this class project is only a scratch at the surface of true entrepreneurship and manufacturing, it was a great experience to get a small taste of a “real world” design to shelf process.

Please refer to pages 65-72 of our PDF process book to read in detail about our reflections and future improvements. 

ALYSSA AUW

UX Designer