- Client: Hewlett Packard Palm
- When: 2010-2011
- Team: 4 Mechanical Product Design Engineers, Electrical Engineer, and external Contract Manufacturing team
- My Role: Product Design Engineer
Hewlett Packard acquired Palm soon after I joined in the summer of 2010. During my time at HP Palm, I was a member of the team that shipped the Palm Pre 2 and Palm Pre 3 phones. I learned and experienced a lot in my first year out of Stanford!
During my year and a half at Palm, I worked on the design of about ten smartphones. Some were products I jumped onto during the later stages of the development process and most were early concepts that we took through various stages of the development cycle.
As a HP Palm Product Designer, I put my Product Design and Mechatronics degrees to good use. With teams of three to four Product Designers, we designed and developed entire smartphones from concept to shipping. Along with designing the overall system architecture and the detailed mechanical part design, I coordinated with and negotiated between various internal Palm Engineering, Marketing, and Industrial Design teams and external ODMs, vendors, and suppliers. During the product development process, I regularly analyzed and developed solutions for reliability and manufacturing failures.
While working on product development, I explored and prototyped concepts for future devices and physical interactions and experiences. I used market research and competitive analysis to inform my initial design directions. For instance, I primarily focused on what a dual screen experience might be as well as what a biometric (fingerprint sensor) experience could look like.
During this research, I realized that there was a huge need in the market for a candy-bar smartphone with a streamlined OS and what better system than webOS. In our downtime, my colleague and I began designing the concept for a new keyboardless phone. We pitched it to our team lead, manager, and within weeks our grassroots design gained traction from all over the company. Soon, our design was not only a product on the roadmap, but also the flagship product that had drummed up support, excitement, and hope from throughout the organization. We proceeded to develop our design through nearly the final stages of development. Though our product was canceled, I am extremely proud to have been a part of that experience.