A new Industrial Design Language for Smartphones and Tablets

the story

Creating a manifold yet visually cohesive, applicable design language for the next generation of Vodafone smartphones and tablets

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Services
  • Product
  • User Experience
  • Graphic
  • Photo
Awards

SMAL was approached to help Vodafone and its design team to develop a design language for a range of eight smartphones and tablets pushing the existing industrial design language to the next level. Vodafone's aim was to democratize affordable innovation handsets for everybody, whilst creating a design that incorporates its own, unique elements.

From creating a pattern language design, to the development of buttons and detail elements, designing slim goods with an individual profile required close collaboration with manufacturers to produce exceptional design despite production budget restrictions.

Combining trend research, market research and tight manufacturer restrictions, the smartphone and tablet family design has exceeded expectations and resulted in positive recognition on tech blogs, news portals and of course by the target audience.

As a result, demand for the 2016 range of devices is now higher than ever and advances the awareness of Vodafone's position as a design and value driven producer and provider of mobile devices.

SMAL was approached to help Vodafone and its design team to develop a design language for a range of eight smartphones and tablets pushing the existing industrial design language to the next level. Vodafone's aim was to democratize affordable innovation handsets for everybody, whilst creating a design that incorporates its own, unique elements.

From creating a pattern language design, to the development of buttons and detail elements, designing slim goods with an individual profile required close collaboration with manufacturers to produce exceptional design despite production budget restrictions.

Combining trend research, market research and tight manufacturer restrictions, the smartphone and tablet family design has exceeded expectations and resulted in positive recognition on tech blogs, news portals and of course by the target audience.

As a result, demand for the 2016 range of devices is now higher than ever and advances the awareness of Vodafone's position as a design and value driven producer and provider of mobile devices.

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Simple continuous base shape

Symmetric concave grooves

Slimming layers, precise edges

45° cut side buttons

Precise, tactile knurling pattern

Laser-etched, hexagonal pattern

Simple continuous base shape

Symmetric concave grooves

Slimming layers, precise edges

45° cut side buttons

Precise, tactile knurling pattern

Laser-etched, hexagonal pattern

The new Vodafone
SMART 7 Series

 
 
 
 

Concave chamfers create slimming lines
and precise edges.

 
 
 

Knurled side buttons and
a unique surface pattern

 
 

Close collaboration with the Vodafone design team through agile design processes, fast CAD iterations, and frequent material testing meant that important design decisions could be made on real scale mockups in partnership with the manufacturers.

This efficient collaboration fused with parallelizing processes inhouse enabled an incredibly high turnover rate for the 2016 range of devices. From first kick-off to market ready, no fewer than eight devices were realized within less than ten months.

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