Hey, my name’s Nick and I’m designing my own pair of custom hearing-enhancing wearables in my bedroom. Now last time I made these foam prototypes just to see whether or not the fit would actually work. Now I’ve found something quite secure. I need to think how are they actually going to look? So I've asked my friend Gray, who’s an industrial designer and makes consumer products for a living how he might go about the next couple of steps.
Nick: Hey, what’s up bro?
Gray: Hey bro.
Nick: So I’m trying to work out what kind of shape can I have something which sits in front of the ear, visibly that looks good.
Gray: I totally can help you with that. That’s what I do all the time. So anyway, the most important step that is really underrated is to just get the feeling of the product I’m going for. Like a great resource is Pinterest and then you basically can just scroll through and start, like going through a Pinterest wormhole of clicking and saving things that you think are interesting and like kind of fit with the feeling you’re going for.
Nick: Thanks so much, you are an amazing help. Thinking of the vibe that I’m going for I don’t really want to go down the standard earbuds route. This kind of hyper futuristic gloss black plastic flashing LEDs and everything kind of look.
So the vibe that I’m going for is taking inspiration from extended-wear wearables, things that you wear all day like glasses, watches, jewelry. These are wearables that become part of your visual identity in a way that I feel earbuds don’t. So I want to incorporate some of the shapes, materials and details that these kinds of wearables have in our design.
I’ve been exploring loads of different shapes and styles, various different angular ones, some of them are more natural. I mean, it’s been a while since my product design sketching days, I feel like I haven't sharpened a pencil since 2014, but it’s been cool to explore which things might work and which things, I mean, definitely won’t work.
Minimalist less-is-more shape
My absolutely amazing flatmates bought me this my birthday. So I’m trying a few different shapes on just to see how it looks. I keep coming back to this more circular shape. I quite like the minimalist less-is-more feel and as it's something that you’re going to be wearing for an extended period of time
While talking to someone, I think it shouldn’t be really screaming for attention, but sketching can really only give you so much of an idea of what it’s going to look like in real life. So I think we need to get back into digital modelling where we can try out some of these shapes and styles in a 3D context.