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Product Design and Strategy at Design Concepts

On October 11, the Design Leadership Symposium class had the pleasure of meeting Stefanie Norvaisas, Director of Strategy and Research at Design Concepts, a consulting company that designs innovative products and strategies for various businesses. The company works on various kinds of products from cleaning supplies to high tech proton therapy machines.

Design Leadership Symposium Students and Stefanie Norvaisas of Design Concepts
Design Leadership Symposium Students and Stefanie Norvaisas of Design Concepts

Product Design and Strategy
Stefanie Norvaisas has been working in the field of product design not only for Design Concepts, but also for Doblin. Her main responsibilities include designing product interfaces and prototypes, researching and analyzing results, and designing the product’s future strategy. It is very important to understand the client’s vision and to determine whether a product will be successful in the markets and feasible to produce.

S.C. Johnson: A Case Study in Product Design
One of the interesting case studies Stefanie gave us was the S.C. Johnson company’s case. S.C. Johnson wanted to come up with a product everyone would need when cleaning the toilet. Stefanie and her team traveled around the world and analyzed how people clean their toilets to have a better understanding of what is needed. One woman in Italy mentioned that when it gets a bit messy, instead of cleaning the whole bathroom she uses toilet paper to touch up. After researching and analyzing, Stefanie and her team realized that people didn’t need another cleaning solution, but rather needed something  small to retouch afterwards. Design Concepts then drafted the blueprint for this new product and S.C. Johnson successfully launched it under the name of the “Touch-Up”. It is fascinating how much effort and work goes into one product.

Finding a Career in Product Design
Stefanie not only introduced us to some of her company’s latest cases but also to her personal career path. She switched her studies from art to anthropology, but at the end found herself in strategy and product design. Her family often called her a “blind pig”, because as saying goes: even a blind pig finds an acorn. Just like a blind pig, Stefanie searched and listened to herself and eventually found her dream job.

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