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Concept Sketches - Several concept sketches based on initial specs, marketing and human factors research were produced for review and iteration with the team. Physical mock-ups and more detailed assembly drawings of chosen concepts were produced (see following slides).
ThinkPad USB Dock Foam Core Mock-Ups - Role: Lead Designer.
The project was initially began with our ID counterparts in Yamato, Japan and handed off to the US team. Numerous concept drawings and mock-ups were produced that helped our team assess various form factors, use scenarios and map optimal locations for buttons, LEDs and ports.
ThinkPad USB Dock Concept Drawing - Concept drawing showing the initial form and assembly. The product is slim to maximize desk space with status LED's, USB port, audio ports and video mode switch button clearly arranged on its bezel. The steel foot and "nose weight" keeps the slightly angled product rock-solid with cables flowing from it back arranged in order of use priority.
ThinkPad USB Concept Drawing - Another concept drawing showing some ideas for the assembly.
ThinkPad USB Dock Rendering - Role: Lead Designer
BunkSpeed HyperShot rendering based on ProEnigineer CAD assembly I made.
ThinPad USB Dock ID Drawing - Role: Lead Designer
After evaluation and assessment of the mock-ups and drawings by management and executives, I created a CAD parts assembly in ProEngineer used to dimension layouts for vendor quotes and create artwork specification documents.
Thinkpad USB Dock Design Process - How the 2mm thick light gray translucent molded polycarbonate bezel for the Thinkpad USB Dock was attached became an issue for the manufacturing vendor.The above product was referenced to the manufacturing vendor as an example of how we wanted the bezel to be attached and how we wanted it to look.
ThinkPad USB Dock Bezel Concept - Quick sketch that was presented to manufacturing vendor and implemented in final design.
ThinkPad Dock Collaboration - After I created the general housing assembly in ProE it was sent with the 2d layout drawings to the manufacturing vendor whom added the internal mechanical features. CAD files were reviewed via the WebEx online conferencing tool and PowerPoints for iteration. ID recommendations/questions were given, vendor gave feedback on feasibility, internal team assessed and necessary changes were implemented. Rapid prototyped models were created and assessed with the team before the tooling stages.
ThinkPad USB Dock mock-up ID inspection & recommendations - Notice the fishing sinker near the front of the device. It was used to help assess the weight needed to counterbalance the product when all the cables were attached. A custom weight with attachement was added along with a solid steel base plate to ensure the product met the ThinkPad brand attribute of "rock solid".

Only this side of the PCB shown produced significant heat that needed venting. Thus, only this side of the housing has vents.
Tooled Sample Parts inspections - Role: Lead Designer
Tooled sample parts were inspected for molding flaws, fit and finish before mass production. Through the process reports were given to the internal development team consisting of project managers, marketing managers, engineers and human factors for approval and to ensure the ID met the GA date.
ThinkPad USB Port Replicator with Digital Video - Role: Lead Designer
With a single USB cable ThinkPad customers could attach a monitor, mouse, keyboard, Ethernet, hard drives and audio. ID collaborated with a large internal multi-disciplinary team as well as manufacturing vendors in the design and development of this device which passed rigorous requirements to be branded "ThinkPad".

See next slides for design process story.
ThinkPad USB Port Replicator - Released Autumn 2009
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ThinkPad USB Port Replicator

Design Process

Freelance, Full-time, Moonlighting
John Venida
Industrial/Product Designer San Francisco, CA