samsung

Millennials are at minimum a two-screen lot. Samsung Electronics appears to have taken that to heart with its latest news of its plans to open its Samsung Design Innovation Center. The initiative will merge its established user-experience research arm to broaden its scope to mine insights based on holistic views of consumer behavior.

And they’ve secured a key player who’s familiar with running creative hubs to spearhead the operation. Federico Casalegno, founder of the MIT Design Lab and MIT Mobile Experience Lab, will lead the center.

“In this age of connected devices, it is imperative that a designer understands and considers the cross-device user experience for every design element of a product, because most products no longer serve a stand-alone purpose anymore,” said Casalegno, head of SDIC. “Our mission is to understand people and lifestyles to deliver meaningful experiences, through beautiful yet functional design, enabled by innovative cutting-edge technologies. With a talented team of multidisciplinary designers, the SDIC will seek to leverage insights from the North American market and tap into the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial spirit to design inspiring products and experiences.”

Samsung’s move signals its awareness of the quickly evolving landscape — particularly as Millennials and Generation Z continue to shift their spending toward experiences — and devices that are capable of supporting them. “The center will also play an important role of envisioning product concepts that do not exist today and assist in the launch of those products to market,” a Samsung spokesman said. “The SDIC is part of the corporate design center, located in Seoul, and one of seven Samsung design studios globally.”

Experience continues to be the catch-phrase du jour in the market. Last week at the annual Adobe Summit, brand and Adobe executives took the stage to reveal how they’ve implemented new strategies and programs with one goal in mind: to enhance the consumer journey. Companies that mine shopper data to inform personalized features that begin prior to a purchase and that last long after an item has arrived on a doorstep will be able to weather — and potentially thrive. The team will also focus on expedited responses to quickly evolving trends and corresponding lifestyles in local markets.

“At Samsung, we recognize that our design and innovation have to be meaningful to people. It has to help people do more. User experiences must involve awareness of the other devices around them and work together. This is what consumers expect today,” said Don Tae Lee, head of the corporate design center. “With the launch of the new center, we are establishing the framework to deliver that sort of experience to people across all our consumer devices.”

More from WWD:

Consumers Are Evolving Rapidly, How Should Retailers Respond?

Adobe Summit: Experience Is Everything

Social Media’s Evolving Role in Retail: Commerce, Product Testing

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