Logitech came to frog in 2004 to help re-envision their webcam roadmap. I led a team of designers and engineers that sought to help this brand, renowned for pioneering the category, differentiate from the generic field of competitive products. Their designs had to date been basically a swiveling ball floating above the computer display. We noticed this camera placement had a detrimental effect on the video call itself: the camera’s high location relative to the viewing window created the impression that the person you were chatting with was staring down at your navel. Very awkward, and not conducive to the perception of trust in a conversation.
Our team suggested an alternative architecture to improve the product experience. We wanted to get the camera aperture as close to the viewing window as possible, so we abandoned the ball form factor in favor of an elongated pod that would hang in front of the display, instead of on top of it. This change in configuration created an instantly improved user experience.
Based on this architecture, our team moved through the design process, from rough sketch and mockups, to refined CAD, and then an engineering database that captured the design intent. The product launched successfully, and as a testament to its new innovative form, competitors followed suit. Subsequent products in lower tiers retained the ball form factor to maintain product roadmap continuity.
Team: Andy Logan, Mark Muenchinger, Chris Jones, John Brock, Mark Olson