Outerspace Design Services

We offer a full range of product design and development services. Our design process is flexible, to suit your needs.
Whether you need a complete solution from project brief to shelf-ready product, or just a little help along the way, you’ll get a high level of advice, help and personalised service from our experienced and diverse team of designers and engineers.

See how our process helped Polaris Communications develop a better phone system for contact centres >

OSD SERVICES PROJECT PLANNING

It’s crucial to your project’s success that you and your project team know what you are trying to achieve and why.
You’ll be assigned a lead designer and experienced project manager to work you through our detailed design brief – a series of important questions to ensure your project has a clearly defined purpose and goals.
A proposed Project Plan, including timeframe, estimated costs and resources will be mapped out for you to review. Project plans are divided into clear stages and deliverables to track progress, and are often visualised in the form of a Gantt chart. If you have in-house resources, their contribution is also spelled out so you don’t pay for what you don’t need.

OSD SERVICES RESEARCH

We like to start with big picture thinking before getting into the detail.
We can help you understand your product’s place in the world by completing a competitor review, including gap analysis and market segmentation to identify niche opportunities. You’ll also start to see both the short and long term prospects for your product and brand.

We helped Polaris appreciate that their communications technologies would appeal to multiple market segments, so from the beginning we planned to leverage them across a range of models with distinct feature sets and price points for different customers.

OSD SERVICES 4 USER STUDIES

There’s no substitute for genuine field research to understand the frustrations and aspirations of your target market. Observing real life situations, talking to your users and and putting yourself in your customers’ shoes will give you a new perspective and empathy which uncovers unmet needs and valuable insights.

For the Polaris project, we visited contact centres to watch operators engaging with customers and communications technology. A wealth of observations and insights were gathered on key aspects such as desk environment, cable management, function use frequency and hierarchy, user priorities, frustrations, training interventions, common errors and even physical safety issues.

OSD SERVICES BRAINSTORM

Concept development is about combining your project brief, market research, user insights & aspirations with creative problem-solving techniques to invent new ways of doing things. This is where we unlock the possibilities of what a product could be to reach its full potential. Our project teams combine engineers and designers to ensure that solutions work and are a delight to use.

On the Polaris SoundShield project, we used brainstorming and role playing to imagine better ways for contact centre staff to use new tools to excel at their jobs. This is where new product formats were imagined that could solve common problems while making the customer contact experience more enjoyable.

OSD SERVICES 6 ID-SKETCHING

Your product shouldn’t just be beautiful, using it should be beautiful too. Industrial design covers the gamut of product development process, but is commonly understood as styling the “look and feel” of a product.

Mechanical design is where your vision of the product really starts to come to life and evolve in different directions. Ideation is translated into sketches and marker renderings to visually explore a wide range of product formats and features. Think of this as free-flowing visualized brainstorming – some great innovations have come out of it. These ideas are grouped into coherent themes and distilled into specific concept directions for presentation and discussion.

For the SoundShield project we explored various shapes and physical relationships between product elements such as headset and dock, cable management, screen size, button design, and color themes. We realized that by utilizing a large touch screen we could integrate the “buttons” into the screen for more flexibility in the interface, simplifying the features and achieving a cleaner aesthetic.

A firm with creativity and innovation designed in

Outerspace is with you on every step of the mechanical design process. Our Melbourne and San Diego design teams love nothing more than seeing a new idea go from lines on a page to sketch to mock-up to working product. Let us help you realize your dream and help you create a product that’s leagues ahead of anything else in the industry. Our packaging design teams and prototyping teams can help make anything – no matter how complex – a reality.

Find out how your scratchings on a notepad could be the next big innovation. To get involved with the Outerspace industrial design team in San Diego, call us on +1 (949) 228 4911 or email jbarker@outerspace.co. Down under in Australia? Get us in Melbourne by calling +61 3 9427 0355 or sending us an email at hello@outerspace.co detailing your idea and we’ll help make it happen.

OSD SERVICES 7 MOCKUP

Mock-ups are simple handmade prototypes fabricated in our workshop from basic materials like blue foam, MDF, sheet metal, common plastics and fasteners. It’s always exciting to see two dimensional sketch concepts suddenly transformed into 3D tangible objects. Mock-ups are great communication tools, as multiple concepts can be compared and easily imagined as finished products.

Early mock-ups of the SoundShield system helped establish a practical size for the base station and screen, validated the design intent of the cable management design and highlighted the fact that the product would need to have some weight and rubberised feet in the base plate to overcome the forces on the touchscreen.

OSD SERVICES 8 UX

Make every moment spent using your product a joy. User Experience (UX) design looks at the entire product use cycle to improve user-product interactions and understanding. Human Factors Engineering covers anthropometrics – body dimensions and limitations, and ergonomics – comfort and ease of use.

With our Soundshield call center headset project for Polaris, we used mock-ups to simulate real world conditions. These helped establish that the frequently-used mute button should be large and low on the screen and should also change color to indicate engagement.

Critical assessments of mock-ups established that too much or little motion in the unit would detract from UX. As the device would be used for hours at a time, the screen angle should be adjustable to eliminate glare and the hinge must resist unintentional rotation. Anthropometric data was used to start designing the headset ear hook.

A great product has great UX

If your product is difficult or frustrating to use, you’re out of the market. At Outerspace Design, we strive to make our clients’ products effortless to use. Everything from our product development team to our packaging department works to create a great UX, because if you have that you’ve got everything else.

UX is where everything from the product’s instructions, packaging, ergonomics and functionality come together to form the total impression your product makes on your customers. Make your first impression – and every one after that – as good as it can be with our help.

The ultimate goal of our engineering team is to produce a well-designed product that can give the user a seamless experience from unboxing through to final use. Convenient, easy-to-use, productive and efficient are all words associated with products with fantastic UX. Make sure they’re attached to yours by talking to the professionals at Outerspace Design. Our San Diego team is available on +1 (949) 228 4911 or via email at jbarker@outerspace.co.

Get in touch with our Melbourne, Australia office today on +61 3 9427 0355 or start a conversation by sending us an email at hello@outerspace.co.

OSD SERVICES 9 CAD

Computer Aided Design (CAD) has revolutionised product development by improving visualisation and communication, highlighting issues before they become problems, and dramatically shortening development time. A CAD model is a virtual three-dimensional representation of a product or packaging solution. It can be a simple conceptual form, or an incredibly detailed assembly constructed from thousands of parts. Once you have a CAD model you can run all types of analysis and virtual testing, such as mould flow analysis, realistic visualisation and 3D printed prototypes.
For Polaris, we quickly translated selected mock-ups into SolidWorks CAD models to understand and communicate how the design would be divided into various components, how much space would be required for the circuit board and touch screen, and how thin we could make the enclosure.

OSD SERVICES 10 RENDERING

In the hands of a skilled operator, advanced rendering software can transform a CAD model into a realistic-looking product image called a ‘rendering’. That rendering can be ‘Photoshopped’ into another image of the surroundings to contextualise the product. Unlike a photograph of an existing product or prototype, a rendering is a photograph of an object that doesn’t yet exist.

We used 3D Studio Max software to create realistic images of the Polaris Soundshield headset. The headsets were composited onto photos of people to help compare stylistic variations and select a preferred design. Polaris’ marketing department used these images to start planning their product promotion campaigns.