[Design Story] Samsung Design America

on November 29, 2016
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Jackson Square, San Francisco where architecture office and design agencies sit shoulder to shoulder. Among the crowd is the Samsung Design America (SDA).


SDA was started with the mind of creating innovation at Samsung Electronics ‘at just the right time with the right people’.




Creating the future with today’s reality


Here at SDA we oversee the entire gamut of the product development stage from end-to-end,  strategy, user experience, design, prototyping, and engineering to create a new product or even a new product line. Also, working with experts in a diverse range of fields to read and forecast the latest trends and create new business opportunities. One of the prime objectives of the SDA office is to open new opportunities for Samsung products. Bringing in exquisite hardware and software to service and lifestyle to create an ecosystem for new products to be introduced and thrive.




SDA focuses on ‘big changes’ with real impact


This is why we chose the location as San Francisco to be at the epicenter of innovation and change. The Bay Area is known for its culture of innovation. It’s a culture that embraces trial and error, that experiments and accepts failure. We want to tap into this culture to open new doors for tomorrow.







Product strategy


The product strategy team takes new categories and defines concepts, develops business, collaboration and marketing research & support.


Industrial design team


The design and development of new products within new categories are the role of the industrial design team. They also produce mockups of newly developed products and maintain new SDA product design specs.


UX team


The UX team handle early concept stages to final software versions of the user experience, prototyping and UI system architecture. The primary role of the team is establishing a guideline for the user journey as well as the final design.






Gear Fit


Gear Fit was SDA’s first wearable and Samsung’s first fitness device as well. It won the ‘Best Mobile Device’ award at Mobile World Congress in 2014, and its modular design, beautiful color display, and curved screen are still iconic today.  SDA design members pushed Samsung’s hardware expertise and had to balance information density in creating a “glanceable” experience.


Level Headphones Over


SDA created Samsung’s first effort in the premium headphone sector. The industrial design team built a sleek and minimalist design for comfort and an intuitive and simple touch experience on the side of the headphone for a truly user focused headphone set.


Galaxy View


Working closely with the Seoul office, the SDA office oversaw the entire project from original identification and incubation, through to manufacturing all the way through to the go-to-market process. The result was a new category in the entertainment market with using the Galaxy View.



Gear S


SDA worked closely with the Seoul office Product team on the final design, materials and straps. The product strategy team was involved in helping build the service partner ecosystem, explaining how partners could adapt their services to the new world of wearables and even going to New York Fashion Week to present the device with designers like Diesel and Swarovski.


Gear Fit2


The Gear Fit2 was a multi-department collaborative effort. The product strategy team worked with local sales and retail teams to develop the GearFit2, incorporating user and retail feedback into the design from it’s inception for music and sensor accuracy as a key features. As the project neared launch we helped support the local sales team with the positioning and go-to-market activities.




Gear Circle Headphones


Our designers wanted to be more fashion oriented with these headphones, designing a necklace that you would be comfortable leaving on and not have to worry about taking them out and untangling them.


Gear IconX


The SDA teams worked together to build Samsung’s first truly wireless buds, Gear IconX. Our design team did deep ergonomics testing to ensure that the buds would stay in and solved the difficult challenge of putting 4GB of memory in them so that you can load your MP3s directly to the headphone and leave your phone in the locker room at the gym.


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