COOLPIX design is supported by originality and a global viewpoint
Where do design ideas come from?
Generally, designers come up with their own original ideas. Each designer thoroughly investigates and considers the design of products as tools, designs that will consistently demonstrate value over the years, and designs that will forever remain popular and attractive with customers. While some designers take hints from the metals and operational feel of antique cameras, others are inspired by the beautiful curves of furniture. However, in designing cameras as tools, we must also examine potential customers' sense of values, as well as the shape, colors and materials demanded by target customers. It is also important that we predict the ways in which these customers' lifestyles and environments will change in the future. Our job is to propose designs that cover all possible angles and instill in customers the sense that this is the camera they have been waiting for. Another aspect that we must always keep in mind is that Nikon customers span the globe. As preferences regarding design vary greatly by region, we are always gathering relative information. For example, we participate in talks with overseas volume retailers. We designers also speak directly with Nikon staff and retail buyers in the U.S. and Europe to acquire information on aspects such as the shapes and colors that are preferred by customers in those regions. This gives us insight into what is happening in the world's compact digital camera markets, as well as what is demanded by these markets.
- Hundreds of mockups exhibiting various colors and textures are created. Of these, prototypes are made of the colors that best express product values.
What sort of global view is required for camera design?
First, we examine the demands for Nikon COOLPIX cameras of various consumers in each country. In considering designs, we analyze products' major sales regions, and also analyze and predict market movement and customer needs in those regions. While an orthodox camera design that emphasizes function, like that of SLR cameras, is preferred in some regions, a design that appears more innovative may be preferred in others. Therefore, we determine the style of a particular design with an awareness of these trends. Preferences regarding color also vary greatly by region. For a model that emphasizes a slim and fashionable body, for example, purple is very popular in the U.S., black is preferred in Europe, and red is well-received the world over.
Maintaining an awareness of all regional and cultural aspects, including the latest fashion trends and color preferences, allows us to develop color strategies. Using the COOLPIX S3000, which was released in a wide variety of colors, as an example, roughly 50 prototypes were created just to decide on the final colors of the camera. In checking each prototype, we finally chose the colors that provided an appearance in line with the product concept and that were casual, yet suitable for a camera. Thus, though prototypes are developed with a specific country or region in mind, the ever changing and diversifying values and trends of all regions of the world are incorporated one at a time until final designs are achieved.