New Future Part 2
Designs for a Sustainable Societies
This is a key visual motion of Samsung design Innovation story part2.
Samsung Design creates change for a better future. In this process, each individual is carefully considered and the lives of tomorrow are regarded as important as our immediate lives today. This is aligned with Samsung’s business philosophy that considers contribution to human society as the ultimate goal. Samsung Design explores experiences that have positive social and economical effects to uphold its corporate responsibility while resonating with today’s consumers who emphasize the ethnical consumption of goods.
To ensure sustainable coexistence, Samsung Design breaks free from previous methods to observe the world and its objects with a much wider point of view. Manufacturing processes are changed to elevate the quality of environment-friendly materials, and fun ways to protect the environment are proposed to the consumer in an approachable manner. Each individual’s unique and diverse environment is taken into consideration so that everyone can be included in the support for convenient lives and the journey to improve the world.* This content introduces Samsung’s various design concepts and activities to illustrate its vision and philosophy. We make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability of any materials contained on the content. All information, products and services, graphics, and images (“materials”) are the property of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Any unauthorized use of any materials contained on the website may violate copyright laws.
Leading Sustainable Future
Today’s customer puts much importance on ethical values such as environmental preservation, energy efficiency, and the use of recycled materials. Samsung Electronics shares these values for sustainability and turns them into action when developing new materials and examining processes for design and manufacturing with strict standards. Samsung Electronics makes sure change occurs not only in the lives of customers but in the actual development process as well. Customers can actively and joyfully participate in upholding sustainable values by using environment-friendly cases, building tables from TV packages, and saving energy.
Sustainable Development Processes
Samsung Electronics designers make the effort to realize sustainable values in the entire development process from concept to design. We then instill brand values and design aesthetics to the results. A sustainable design should not mean it is aesthetically compromised or requires extra effort to use but must offer the same meaningful and beautiful experience. This determination is in line with Samsung Electronics’ pursuit of customer satisfaction in all of its designs. The Galaxy smartphone’s Kvadrat case are a result of a two-year-long collaboration with the Danish textile brand Kvadrat and is a prime example of Samsung Design’s meticulous standards. The case is a made from recycled plastic bottles, and one 500ml recycled plastic bottle can create two cases. Utilizing expired resources to give life to new products is not only helpful to the environment but also a meaningful process of creating a better product from its original source.
Designers wanted to create a design that was high quality enough to break the stereotype of recycled materials and worthy of the credibility of the Samsung brand. Leveraging the heat-sensitive properties of yarn made from processed recycled plastic, a heat forming procedure was applied to create a smooth finish and better texture. Furthermore, extensive manufacturing knowhow was brought in to successfully yield thin silicon materials that were used to mold a slim exterior form.
Lastly, countless iterations were made in close collaboration with the development team to prevent the yarn from loosening, such as adjusting the overall form, changing the cutting methods, and applying additional manufacturing procedures.
Resonance Made Through Customer Participation
A sustainable design can have great influence when it is empowered by the participation of people and actually utilized in everyday lives. Samsung Design encourages active customer participation with innovative and approachable ideas created through deep understanding of customer behaviors and lifestyles. This helps create powerful resonance between Samsung Design and its customers toward sustainable designs.
Samsung Electronics recently presented ‘Eco Packaging,’ which is the packaging method for the line of lifestyle TVs like The Frame, The Serif, and The Sero. Eco Packaging offers a fun DIY experience that easily recreates packaging into TV tables or little homes for cats. This DIY experience is the result of the collaborative effort between designers who understand Millennials better than anyone. A product designer who focuses on exterior beauty, a UX designer who specializes in easy and convenient experiences, and an engineer who emphasizes blueprint designs and developmental potential came together to each leverage their expertise and perspectives.
The perspectives may have been different, but the group concentrated on four common goals. The furniture’s role, the low difficulty of creating something, the sturdiness of the final product, and the beauty in form. Placing more emphasis on practicality led to concerns in aesthetics and making the crafting process easier led to compromise on sturdiness. Designers each created their own prototypes to find the best solution. They made their own cut-outs and crafted the furniture themselves to get hands-on experiences in the perspective of the customer and gain inspiration on providing a fun and meaningful experience for the whole process. As a result, a sliding and fastening method was chosen to lessen crafting time and lower the number of pieces involved, a dotted pattern was devised to help novices, and a detailed blueprint was created to even consider the direction on which the incisions should be made. Distributing the build instructions through QR code instead of paper was another purposeful decision that was made to participate in the initiative to preserve the environment.
Change Made Together in Our Daily Lives
Energy conservation and efficiency are considered critical technologies for sustainability. Samsung Electronics enables customers to save energy on their own through SmartThings Energy that can check and control the level of energy consumption at home. To help customers understand first-hand the importance of energy conservation and the dire need for environment preservation, information on each product’s energy consumption levels and various guides to reducing energy costs are intuitively visualized.
This information is strategically positioned to not only effectively convey information but to inspire actual change in customer behavior. The 3-step energy conservation process known as Check – Learn – Act is used, leading customers to ‘Check’ their own energy consumption levels, ‘Learn’ how their behaviors or devices are consuming energy, and finally ‘Act’ on adjusting these behaviors and devices to become environment-friendly.
SmartThings Energy also plays a support role in encouraging and assisting customers to easily save energy in their everyday life patterns. For example, if a customer sets a daily utility bill cap for using their air conditioner, the air conditioner will automatically change into the power saving mode when the cap is met. If the customer presses the ‘Eco Button’ they can turn the power saving mode on for the air conditioner at desired times. Furthermore, if there are any appliances left on when the customer leaves the house, an alert will be sent out. Customers can also learn about ways to save energy in an interesting and engaging manner. Great tips on saving energy like shielding the air conditioner outdoor unit from direct sunlight or using the dryer on warmer days during winter are presented to the customer along with fun illustrations.
Design for all
When designers are designing products and services, they create a certain hypothetical preset consisting of age, gender, economic status, and lifestyle to define the potential user, and this is called a persona. This persona is a necessary element that is used to create a custom-tailored experience for customers, but if diversity is not properly taken into consideration, there is a risk of excluding people who may not pertain to certain characteristics of the persona. Samsung Electronics does not focus on creating designs for specific customer segments, but always opens the possibilities of expanding the experience to help more customers enjoy and take advantage of useful values. The goal is to create a design for all and an all-encompassing experience that benefits customers, societies, and industries.
Experience Design for Healthy and Balanced Lifestyles
The transition to the digital made our lives much more convenient, but excessive dependence on the digital can lead to social issues evident in the newly coined terms ‘Smombie’ or ‘Nomophobia’. Samsung Electronics prioritizes Digital Wellbeing to help people use digital devices in a more meaningful and independently healthy way. This initiative doesn’t just help users understand their digital consumption patterns but features functions that are tailored to different circumstances in our lives. Various functions like the Focus Mode or Wind Down Mode are provided in mind of people’s usage patterns and experiences to help them establish healthy digital lifestyles.
Focus Mode can be helpful when a user is carrying out a task that requires concentration, like reading or studying. When the smartphone is left on, it constantly bugs you with texts or app notifications that disrupt the moment. Focus Mode blocks all of these notifications except for only absolutely necessary alerts. It can also act as a timer that can secure much-needed quality time with family or by yourself. The Wind Down Mode adjusts the screen’s color to black and white as if the surroundings just got dark to let the customer know that it is time to go to bed. It doesn’t forcefully quit apps but gently encourages the customers to prepare for sleep using the impressionable visual effect of a black and white screen. There are also functions like Dark Mode or the Blue light filter that are used to protect the customer’s eyes from prolonged smartphone use.
Accessibility Designs Mindful of Diversity
Just as each individual’s appearance, behavior, and environment is different, the way people use products and services vary. Accessibility design seeks to provide a consistent experience for these diverse customers to prevent exclusion or discomfort when using products and services. Much deliberation is put into these designs to expand the experience, such as thinking in the perspective of customers and conducting continuous tests and interviews to refine the design with the customer themselves. The cooperation with Samsung Supporters, a group consisting of customers with disabilities, is another initiative that takes place to enhance accessibility. Samsung Electronics designers gain deeper understanding for accessibility through discussions and feedback from these customers and can explore better experiences as a result. The Dark Mode feature is a great example of this cooperative model.
Dark Mode was originally created to provide high-contrast themes, keyboards, and font to those with visual impairment, but has since expanded its reach to normal customers. People use smartphones in various situations and places like dimly lit rooms, cloudy days, and the outdoors when the sun is down. In these conditions, the smartphone’s bright screen can be an overly strong visual stimulus. Designers believed that all customers, whether visually impaired or not, could take advantage of a high-contrast mode to comfortably use smartphones. They carried out usability tests and in-depth interviews to test the hypothesis. The study concluded that both groups of customers preferred brighter font on darker backgrounds and this gave the extra push toward fine-tuning the development of Dark Mode. This was the direct result of a designer’s determination to provide more comfortable experiences to people in diverse environments and circumstances.
Design that Expands Our Possibilities
Much of our everyday information are conveyed through sounds like the alarm that lets us know the laundry is done, our smartphone’s ringtone, or emergency alerts. People are conditioned to take in and understand sound through various tonal elements such as a note’s frequency or speed, a tone’s musical rhythm, a melody’s emotion, or a series of sounds that we were taught to recognize. However, if an individual is experiencing hearing impairment, all of this auditory information become useless. Samsung Electronics is researching to create an Inclusive experience that connects the various sounds in a household to effectively communicate important information to customers who are not able to hear due to special circumstances.
Inclusive IoT is an advanced concept design that collects sound and visualizes it to help customers intuitively understand information. Sounds like smartphone alarms, music, the voices of family members are collected and then visually expressed through lighting and color with deep learning technology. For instance, a dance music that has a strong rhythm and fast tempo is visualized in strong solid colors that blink based on the beat, and jazz music is expressed in red colors to capture the vibe of a jazz club. In emergency situations when a siren is going off or the sound of glass breaking occurs, a sharp and large visual wave is displayed to help customers perceive the urgent nature of the sound.
During the development process, Samsung Electronics purposely avoided the conventional approach of recreating a design for the hearing impaired from an existing design that was made for non-impaired customers. Through countless interviews with those who experience difficulty with hearing, Samsung Electronics studied the way they perceive sound and gained insight from their perspectives. The design was further improved to become a meaningful experience for those who are not normally hearing impaired but may have difficulty with hearing in certain situations. This achievement was made possible through research that dives deep into the essence of people and considerate contemplations on the interactions between people and devices.
Samsung Electronics prepares for the future through experiences that are meaningful and resonating with customers’ lives. We will continue to pursue profound conversations with today’s generation to bring sustainable change and expand experiences to offer valuable designs to more customers. For a better personal live, a better society, and a better world, Samsung Electronics will work and cooperate with customers to take on new challenges to spearhead the future.Be Bold. Resonate with Soul.