In 2005, Epson came to frog design to help evolve their line of professional digital photo viewers. These devices, essentially hard drives with high-resolution digital displays to view content, are used in-field by professional photographers who demand the best from their gear. Whether in demanding professional environments like jungles, deserts, or war zones, or just an alchohol-fueled wedding party, the gear these pros use gets beat up, dropped, submerged, and just plain abused.
However, Epson’s previous photo viewer, the P-4000, looked like (and was built like) more of a Sony PSP than a titanium-body SLR. Leading a team of industrial and digital designers, we saw this aesthetic disconnect early on. We drew direct inspiration from the rugged gear photographers already relied on, and re-envisioned Epson’s next generation of photo-viewer to better align with this demanding target market.
Our team used an iterative design process to move from early strategic foundation-building, to initial sketch concepts, to refined CAD, and high-fidelity appearance models. After handing off the design direction, the Epson team developed the concept for production, released as the P-3000 and P-6000 for the higher-end version. Focus group testing proved our observations were right on: professionals loved the device. Even more importantly, the Pro-sumers (a much larger and more gear-hungry market) loved it as well.