OK, I don't intend this to be mean, but this confused me.
So I'm scrolling down this beautiful presentation from the product designer: Thoughtful, user-centered and gloriously crafted. No detail left untouched. I'm thinking, "This is awesome!"
Then, when you get to the end, boom, you learn the company’s out of business. Game over.
That’s where I got confused: Why didn’t Eli’s start-up design the stay-in-business model with the same care and intention as the mobile app experience? And how great is touting a mobile app design that no one can use?
I get that start-ups fail for many reasons, and I’m not trying to downplay Eli’s amazing work. Still, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that if EO focused less on re-designing the mobile app and more on re-designing the business so it can grow … THAT is the real value a product designer brings to a start-up ... right?
I don't think we can begin to critique the business being as external as we are. There can be a million different reasons as for why something doesn't end up working out (former three time failed startup founder here :D).
Sure, you're right on paper. But you never know the external circumstances that made the company fail (specially when we're talking about EO, in the brutal market that is hardware startups).
I don't see any confusion here — he designed a great product, but it wasn't enough to make sure the company succeeded. This doesn't mean it was a bad product or it had no value at all.
Sometimes you have a vision, you execute on it as well as you possibly can, and you see if it works or not. If the only thing that mattered was staying in business, we'd all be designing marketing analytics dashboards…
Reading this article is the first I've heard of EO shutting down and I have one hanging up in my living room.
Thanks for sharing this Paul.
This is a great read for those out there looking to put together a Case Study for Product Designer roles. Really appreciate showing the existing app and the research behind redesigning the app.
Also, always great to see the team mentioned (who did what) at the start of the project.
This is one of the best case studies I've ever seen. Not too much text, but enough to tell the story, lay out the rationale, and connect all the wonderful images.
Great idea. Sad to hear they're no longer. Would love to know what challenges they faced, like what environmental concerns they had and what the economical output of the display was compared to smaller screens.