Samsung has 60,000 staff members working in 34 research centers across the globe, including, Russia, Britain, India, Japan, Israel, China and Silicon Valley. It polls consumers and buys third-party research reports, but it also embeds employees in countries to study trends or merely to find inspiration for ideas.
Designers of the Galaxy S III say they drew inspiration from trips to Cambodia and Helsinki, a Salvador Dalí art exhibit and even a balloon ride in an African forest. (It employs 1,000 designers with different backgrounds like psychology, sociology, economy management and engineering.)
“The research process is unimaginable,” said Donghoon Chang, an executive vice president of Samsung who leads the company’s design efforts. “We go through all avenues to make sure we read the trends correctly.” He says that when the company researches markets for any particular product, it is also looking at trends in fashion, automobiles and interior design.
Hangil Song, a Samsung product designer, described a visit to the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore, where he said he was amazed by the views of the sky, the cityscape and the water. He wanted to create an effect where water was overflowing from the screen. As a result, taps and swipes on the Galaxy S III’s phone screen create a unique ripple effect.
The genesis of the wide Galaxy Note phone reflects that same kind of consumer research. From focus groups and surveys, Samsung found that many... [continues]
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