The Adventures and Challenges
of the Odyssey Expedition
Samsung’s Odyssey gaming monitors is unique. It inspires curiosity with just its design. Why isn’t this monitor a flat rectangular shape? What is the purpose of the large circular lighting placed in the back? Why do professional gamers prefer this monitor over others? This futuristic design is the result of the brave voyage of designers who overcame countless trials and errors, completing quest after quest like heroes in a game. This bold, futuristic, and confident monitor design was not created coincidentally, but through the relentless struggle to forge powerful weapons that can aid the journeys of every gamer.
Ready to Go!
This is for Research Purposes!
Since the Odyssey is a product designed for gamers, it was important to see from a gamer’s perspective. We visited a PC Bang for the first time in years, and even set up a gaming PC at home to play. We also studied the trend of gaming gear by playing the latest games with devices that pro gamers prefer the most and watched several SF movies to familiarize ourselves with futuristic vehicles, weapons, and armor.
Entering the Battlefield to Study the Pros!
We went through countless articles and data to analyze pro gamers but conducting field research proved to be most helpful. We interviewed Korean, Chinese, and Italian professional gamers and observed how they played. The biggest issue was with the stand. Since pros had a wide range of mouse movement, a big stand would often get in their way. Interestingly, these pro gamers did not particularly prefer larger screens. Most of these players would focus on their plays by getting close to the screen, so they preferred monitor sizes that gave them the full picture in a single glance. We put our detective hats on and carefully analyzed every detail of pro gamer behavior and used that knowledge to design the monitor.
Design Requires Teamplay
Professional designers in the fields of product, CMF and visual communication came together to form a team. While the product designer envisions the product design, the CMF designer would search for materials and patterns, and the visual communication designer would materialize the Visual Identity Strategy based on the core values of the design. Each of these three designers brought their expertise to the table and worked together for a better gaming environment and visual strategy.
Capturing SF Inspirations
The team studied numerous SF movies and illustrations to create a ‘Futuristic’ design. Visual details from machinery, vehicles, weapons, and armor from movies and content were applied to the design. There were also attempts to integrate lighting images to the monitor, which was an idea derived from a previous SF-inspired lighting design of a speaker product.
Winning the Hearts of Pro Gamers
We closely analyzed the needs of our users based on research data and interviews. Gaming requires a lot of focus, and even the slightest movement and posture can affect one’s win rate. We continuously improved our design through elements that were crucial to professional gamers, such as the optimal screen size that could provide necessary information in a glance, a stand that didn’t interfere with mouse or keyboard usage, and lighting effects that amplified immersion in dark environments. We also considered different needs for different game genres. Italian pro teams are more involved with F1 racing games, and these gamers preferred larger screens while having minimal mouse and keyboard movement.
Infinite Adjustments to Achieve Perfection
Materializing the product was just as challenging as the experimental phase that led up to it. The 3D modeling was especially tricky since the form of the monitor had a multi-dimensional composition of surfaces connecting in varying angles. It was the most difficult and time-consuming modeling we have done so far. When creating a mockup, we start by checking the blueprint with the modeler at a 3D studio and then move on to the workshop to build and paint the mockup with a craftsman. This process was repeated countless times, and we made multiple coffee runs for the mockup crew as a sign of appreciation. We grew quite close to our collaborators at the workshop and developed outstanding teamwork by the end of the project.
We prepared a product introduction video to showcase at CES 2020 where the Odyssey would be revealed. Our aspiration was to embody the notion of an epic journey in the Odyssey, just like its namesake. It would’ve been ideal to produce the video after the product was finished, but we had to start the production process before the final product was ready due to our schedule. The product design was adjusted several times as a result of development issues, and every time we had to make those changes to the video as well. There was about four modifications, and each time the product designer and visual communication designer closely checked every little detail to make sure the changes have been made correctly. The process didn’t feel tiresome at all since our passionate desire to leave a powerful and great impression to consumers fueled our drive.
The Final Engagement and the Aftermath
The debut at CES 2020 was a great success. The G9 took home the Innovation Award in the Computer Peripherals and Accessories category, and the G7 won the same award in the gaming category. Our product also came in first place in a blind test conducted with industry professionals and pro gamers. Consumer feedback was sensational as well. These days, it is easy to gauge public feedback because of online reviewers who review products on YouTube and other social media with their in-depth knowledge and expertise. Many YouTubers gave positive feedback and wanted to know the official release date of the products. Even our colleagues approached us personally, complimenting the product and wanting to know when it will be available. These moments proved to us that our efforts were not in vain.
A capture image of a CES image.
Our design is instilled with the spirit of a gamer who only wants to play on the best possible gear. We equipped ourselves with deep, analytical knowledge on gamer behavior, preferences, and styles, which enabled us to overcome all the challenges and limitations. Although our epic journey ends here, gamers around the world will carry the torch to embark on their own voyages with the Odyssey.
Go to samsung.com