Kicker: Who We Are and What We’re About

I was speaking at a conference in Japan recently, and since it had just been launched there, the talk was all iPhone, iPhone, iPhone. An audience member asked the panel I was on if all organizations needed a Steve Jobs in order to get good products like the iPhone made. My response was that every company wished it had its Steve Jobs: someone with vision, passion, good taste, judgement, and willpower. But the fact is few companies do, and the products they produce reflect that.

Kicker can help.

Most products are made the wrong way. The industrial design is done before the interaction designer and visual designers ever see the device, so the device feels slapped together; what’s on the screen has nothing to do with its form. Or maybe the product strategy causes the device to have too many features until it is overburdened with unnecessary functionality and controls. Or maybe the product is lifeless and has little personality aside from a list of options.

The founders of Kicker know there is a better way: starting with a strong product strategy, design products from the inside-out, with all three design disciplines—interaction, industrial, and graphic—working together to create more holistic products. This is how Apple does it (no Steve Jobs necessary!), and why our favorite products such as Tivo and the Wii, work so well.

This is a new era of product design: where products aren’t always driven by their mechanics, but can instead display behaviors that we’ve come to expect from our computers. Our devices are getting more powerful and more complex. We have a new generation of touchscreen and sensor-driven devices. Objects that were previously stand-alone are being hooked up to the internet and can talk to other objects. This new era means we need to think about our products differently: to design the device’s behavior as well as the form and look and feel. This is why Kicker does interaction-infused product design. We consider the actions the product needs to support, then make the functionality (the inside) as pleasing to use as the device is to look at and touch (the outside).

This blog is about this new landscape of product design. We hope you’ll follow us and our doings.

Welcome to Kicker.