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Our 10 Most Popular Posts of 2017

What a year! In 2017 we found no shortage of product innovation topics to write about.

We covered smart cities and digital-physical design. We looked outward to consider things like accessibility and inward to explore how we are shaped and the challenges we’ve faced while designing our growing company.

We’re already at work on 2018 but before we turn the page, we’d like to take a look back and (drumroll, please) reveal the 10 posts you read and shared the most:

1. Industrial Design’s Past, Present & Future: The Evolution of a Profession

Managing Partner and Director of Design, Mathieu Turpault, pondered the evolution of industrial design for IDSA Innovation’s ‘What Is ID?’ issue. He looked back on his own 25-plus year career to pinpoint how much has changed, and how much is likely to remain the same. Read the post.

Perhaps because designers are becoming more removed from manufacturing, the profession is evolving to be less about product and more about problem definition.

2. 7 Ways To Design Better Products for Women

To mark International Women’s Day in March, Bresslergroup’s female employees came together to talk about our own experiences with products and about designing products for a female audience. Together we came up with seven actions companies can take to design products for women that will make women’s lives easier, better, and more delightful. Read the post.

(During Women’s History Month we also published an Instagram series highlighting women innovators including Marion Donovan, designer of the first disposable diaper.)

3. Five Innovation Methods To Try With Your Team

Breakthrough ideas hardly ever arrive effortlessly. The mad genius with the unending stream of brilliant ideas is largely a myth — typical design mortals need to work at being reliably innovative week after week. That’s a tall order, and we’re always on the hunt for new techniques to help make it happen.

How might you innovate again and again? Director of Industrial Design, Chris Murray, and Senior Industrial Designer, Vladlena Belozerova, shared some of their favorite techniques in this popular post. Read the post.

4. How We Used Design Thinking To Redesign Recruiting and Onboarding

Human Resources Coordinator, Beth Cohen, told the story of how we assembled a task force comprised of content, design, and UX experts to rethink and redesign our recruiting and onboarding experience for new hires. We made some small changes that have led to major results (and there is more to come on this front in 2018!). Read the post.

5. What Does Writing Have To Do with Design?

This essay puts forward two notions: 1) writing and design have a lot in common; and 2) making designers write about objects makes them better designers. The blog post’s author writes about these ideas against the backdrop of describing a design writing workshop she teaches to local design students who are asked to write about objects of personal significance. Read the post.

Thinking about how and why relationships between humans and objects form and evolve is an important question for designers to consider.

5. Introducing SenCity, Our LoRa-Based Smart City Solution for Philadelphia

Earlier in 2017 we put our heads together to come up with a smart city application for a real problem: the long lines at Philadelphia’s most popular spots. Our team brainstormed SenCity, a smart city platform that tracks crowd levels at oft-visited establishments and communicates that info via web and mobile app. Bresslergroup developed all pieces internally, including a ruggedized mobile device, embedded hardware and firmware design, as well as the responsive app. Read the post.

7. The Latest on LoRa: Enabling the Internet of Things To Get Real

Senior Director of Electrical Engineering, Todd Zielinski, shared his takeaways from the LoRa Alliance’s sold-out 2017 Smart City Summit in Philly. He divulged conference buzz and pointed out how the LoRa ecosystem’s evolution into a mass movement is good news for those with IoT use cases requiring low-bandwidth applications that can run independently for years. Read the post.

8. Get Connected To IoT: Three Technology Trends at CES 2017

Three tech trends came to light as Todd Zielinski toured CES 2017: the new abundance of cheap, off-the-shelf sensors at product designers’ fingertips; the multiplication of machine-to-machine communication options; and a growing number of IoT ecosystems. He shared specifics about each trend and offered takeaways for readers wondering how to apply this info to their own IoT development decisions. Read the post.

9. #sideproject: SEPTA GO


Haven’t you always wanted to redesign SEPTA? Senior Industrial Designer, Ed Mitchell, shared his vision for a fleet of autonomous, electric cars to transport Philadelphians. His shared mobility system consists of fully electric, autonomous, and compact cars controlled by commuters via mobile app. Read the post.

I’ve realized that fully autonomous technology is an opportunity to think about cars as task-specific vehicles designed to function efficiently in specific environments such as cities.

10. Connectivity Everywhere! Five Product Trends at CES 2017

What Todd Zielinski sees in Vegas does not stay in Vegas! At CES 2017 Todd (pictured above with electromechanical engineer, Nick McGill) walked nearly twenty miles each day through three convention centers and still did not see it all. Still, he saw enough to write this roundup that included news of sensors woven more deeply into the medical consumer space to drones with singular purpose. Read the post.

Todd returns to CES this January, so stay tuned for his 2018 CES reports. And thanks for reading and sharing. If you haven’t signed up for one of our newsletters, consider joining the nearly 900 product innovators who receive our blog posts and other new content delivered directly to their inbox via one or more of these monthly dispatches: IoT Product DesignMedical Product Design, and Design Insights & News.

See you next year!