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An inside look at Samsung's approach to product design

Melissa J. Perenson | Jan. 10, 2013
At a gathering of designers from Samsung's Korea headquarters, the company made it clear that it will continue to push toward being a lifestyle brand, and one that emphasizes connecting consumers with their personal electronics.

On how much resources are devoted to design:

"Design permeates through the entire company. It's much more than you think. It doesn't really cost that much to hire designers or to maintain a design group, but in order to come up with design ideas, it costs a lot of money. When people talk about a design budget, they only talk about the overhead.

"[For example] we introduced a new design for a product--Touch of Color [HDTVs in 2008]. In order for this design to become product, we got our hands on the double injection molding machines all around the world, so we could get an idea of how [the translucent colored surface] would look. This represented one-third of all the profits we made from that product."

On finding inspiration to innovate on designs that are commoditized:

"When people think about designers, they think about the technological limit or specs; but designers don't necessarily agree. We continuously think about what the customer wants, we study many types of products, from our research, and we are inspired by everything. We don't limit our outlook just to these products. These ideas allow us to improve our products, and to innovate our products--and create a whole new category, as we did with our Galaxy Note--by adding the human element of the pen to it. It's how we can continue to innovate.

"Whenever there are challenges, we have to overcome the challenges, and when we overcome the challenges, we see change."

 

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