How does a crowdsourced design project work?
WaterField Designs began working closely with customers way back in 1998 when Sony Vaio laptop users requested that Gary create a protective covering to fit their computers. At the time, there were so many different types of PCs that most bag manufacturers only offered sleeves for the general market, usually in three generic sizes — small, medium, and large. As a result of these customer requests, the custom-fit SleeveCase was born. This first SleevecCase came in only in one size, customized for that specific Sony laptop.
Working with Sony Vaio owners, Gary developed the collaborative design process that the company still uses today. How does the WaterField community-sourced design process work?
1. Gather requirements and customer input.
2. Develop sketches and prototypes.
3. Provide customers with updates and ask for their feedback.
4. Continue to gather feedback and tweak prototypes until the design is finalized.
In recent years, WaterField's crowdsourced designs have included:
- A collection of cases for the Nintendo Switch,
- The iPhone Camera Bag
- The frequent traveler's go-to bag, the Air Porter Carry-On, and
- The businessman's Pro Executive Laptop Backpack.
The company has just launched its latest crowdsourced design project to develop the Next Generation Gear Cases. If you have ever had a secret interest in product design, you'll enjoy being part of our team. Join the journey!