High Volume Innovation

Fitbit was looking for an innovation method to build a completely new product that took advantage of their existing user base and fitness tracker ecosystem.

We brought together leaders, product designers, engineers, and user researchers from all over the organization for a 4-day intensive Prototype Thinking retreat. Everyone had many ideas: the challenge was to identify and refine the most powerful ones.

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The Outcomes

5 “Magic Moment” product designs
2 “Favorite Solutions” disproven
156 user tests
10 unique ideas tried
34 major design variations
17 foundational insights
100 total insights
516 prototype adjustments

Project Format

4-Day Intensive Workshop
3 teams of 4 in separate rooms
Live user experimentation twice per day

Teams made prototype adjustments during and after user tests based on immediate feedback outcomes.

The Prototypes

- Paper prototypes for software outlines
- Furniture and workout equipment for scenario + use case prototyping
- Existing and competitor products hooked up to simulate functionality
- Modeling clay for device shapes
- Package & instruction mockups

“At the end of this process, there are quite a few proposals that I’d want Fitbit to look into. A lot of them have potential and traction to make an impact right away.”
— Laura, Advanced Product Development Program Manager
“Having a simple easy prototype that you can put in front of someone, and get their direct and honest feedback as fast as possible, was a very, very good thing to learn.
I think the lessons learned here this week will stick with me for a long time.”
— Michael, Principal Audio Engineer


Finding a Portfolio Strategy

B&O needed a unified portfolio strategy for a prominent product line across its 3 key geographic markets: Europe, United States, and China.

A beloved, glamorous brand with the ability and deploy a potentially unlimited of designs, they needed to find the right breakdown of what to build and why. We did a deep dive into the challenge.

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The Outcomes

Years of debate and turned into a simple, crystal clear portfolio breakdown narrative that the entire company was aligned behind.

Based on the success of this project, product teams across the organization now use a Prototype Thinking Sprint to kick off each new project.

Project Format

2 x Sprints (in 2 of the 3 locations)
25 x video user interviews in 3 languages
900 x users surveyed

We began with Prototype Thinking Sprints to develop a deep qualitative sense of the landscape of possibilities and to craft the overall shape of a few top options. Additional interviews & surveys refined and validated those solutions at volume.

The Prototypes

- In-store shopping experience simulation
- Cardboard boxes as packaging, index cards next to products on shelves as feature descriptions
- Paper prototypes for online shopping with images from existing products
- Mixed and matched existing products, raw materials, and other designer household goods to simulate physical experience

Prototype Thinking Labs is extremely insightful, inspirational, and has moved me and the entire Bang & Olufsen company to work in new ways. It has greatly helped our speed, innovation and involving users early on... Everyone is working on the new portfolio... Our leadership is completely bought in and we are overbooked on Sprints: I’m trying to hire someone because we can’t handle all the requests coming in from all over the company.
— Michael Konig, Head of Design