a human-centred design approach to cables
You may have seen us talk about ‘human centered design’ on our website and social channels – but what does it really mean? It’s the process we follow to ensure we put you at the center of our product design, going above ‘user friendly’ to create a solution that solves your current (and future) problems.
The process can be broken down into 3 simple steps, but as simple as they are its surprising how many brands don’t follow this approach.
This stage is all about understanding you; getting to know you and what makes you tick, what you find frustrating and how you use tech products. Human centered design helps us to focus on creating products which solve the everyday struggles that you face to help make your life easier.
Customer understanding is something we are passionate about. Each member of atom studios has a background in tech accessories. From roles in product design, customer service and sales to industrial design, R&D and more. We took all the feedback, learning and experience from our time working in this sector and channeled it into products which will shake up the industry.
We have had our ears to the ground for the last 10 years listening to consumers tell us what they want and just as importantly, what they don’t want. But there is always more to learn or observations that we haven’t made yet, so we keep listening and learning.
We followed this approach when designing our new cables – at first glance it might seem obvious what is required of a charging cable. It needs to charge your device and not break, right? But by diving into the ‘Inspiration phase’ and speaking to real people and watching how they use cables, you presented us with a long list of frustrations that you face.
After seeing all the complaints currently caused by cables, we took a step back and thought what if we did this differently? How can we make the best cables in the market?
After spending time out in the real world observing people in the environment that they use the products, the ideation stage is where you retreat back to the studio. What solutions could help make our consumers lives become better, happier and more productive? We imagine all the ways that we can solve the problems, big and small.
We take our ideas and bring them to life; developing concepts then implementing solutions.
Prototyping allows us to test our designs and again get feedback. Environmentally friendly materials are sourced and tested for performance and we investigate the best production methods.
We then share our ideas with people outside of atom studios to sense check our designs. We think we found some innovative ways to solve your cable problems.
- My cable gets tangled and knotted.
- My cables turn into one big ball in my drawer so I can’t access them easily.
Our Design solution: the distinctive flat shape of our cable significantly decreases the chance of knots and winds up neatly.
- I have so many of the same cables, and most of them don’t work well.
- All cables look the same so I can’t find the one I want quickly.
- My cables turn into one big ball in my drawer so I cant access them easily.
Our Design solution: This for us, this was the game changer – interchangeable adaptor heads, so you only need one cable for the task. Removing the need for multiple cables amd all kept neatly in a velvet pouch. By simply connecting the adaptor heads on top of each other you have the most versatile cable on the market.
- It charges too slowly.
- When I plug my cable into my phone I get the ‘this accessory is not supported by apple’ notice which makes me worry that I’m damaging my phone or using substandard accessories.
Our Design solution: Our USB-C to Lightning cable is MFI certified with a fast charge chip. This means that Flat delivers up to 18W output via USB-C and up to 12W output via USB-A so you can spend less time charging. For the fastest charge ever you can pair our cable with a PD-enabled charger, allowing you to charge you iPhone from 0 to 50% battery in under 30 minutes. Because we have MFi status (Made for iPhone) you can rest assured that you won’t get that annoying ‘this accessory is not supported by apple’ message.
- It’s too short – I have to balance on the edge of my bed when I want to use my phone.
- It’s excessively long– I have extra cable getting in the way that looks ugly.
Our Design solution: We have two sizes - 1.8M and 0.5M for ultimate convenience. By observing how you use cables we decided on the two optimum lengths to meet your needs.
- My cable breaks after a month – I have to hold it in a certain position to charge properly.
- I don’t trust my cable to continue charging when I fall asleep.
- My cables look boring and ugly.
Our Design solution: Our cables are made from super durable silicone with strengthened aluminium tips. We put them through rigorous testing focusing on the areas that you told us broke most frequently. To make sure that they are the strongest, we even bend the cable back and forth over 3000 times to make sure it won’t easily break or fray. On top of that the materials we chose are also eco conscious with a more elevated look than your standard black, techy cables.
- My cable is always falling off the table onto the floor.
Our Design Solution: Mass cable weights feature a channel in the base to fit our flat cables and keep them perfectly in place. You told us how frustrating it was to keep having to pick your cable up from the floor, or use a makeshift weight such as a book on top of your cable to keep it in place – Mass works perfectly. Available to buy with your cable or as a separate unit.
Click here to shop our range of unique cables.
If you want to become part of our Insiders group to trial and test our latest designs and give us feedback, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our list.