Komplete Audio is Native Instrument’s latest audio interface series for entry level customers to help recording songs, to mixing down and playing out. The challenge of this design and product development was to keep the costs low while matching the look and feel to our existing product portfolio. My solution was to design a scalable and modular casing to re-use parts and components for multiple products.
ResponsibilitiesDesign strategy, Ideation, User and Market Research, UX Design, Industrial Design, Product Development, CMF Design, Production and Quality Control
Design Challenge The first audio interface for Native Instruments was Komplete Audio 6 MK1 which was released 7 years ago. Despite high reputation for performance and design, there was a need to update to the look and feel to match our new design language and attract new users. Additionally, the UX needed improvements to respond to users’ feedback and requests as well as meet the current market standard.
Role & Responsibilites As the design lead on this project, I was responsible for the design strategy which included planing and conducting the user and market research, prototyping and testing, defining the design direction, UX design and industrial design. I was the main design contact for our suppliers and manufacturing partners overseas to negotiate and collaborate on quality control to run mass-production smoothly.
Users & Audience The target users of Komplete Audio 6 MK1 were experienced professional musicians and producers. These users have a strong preference for premium sound quality and durable design.The rather complex UX was not a problem if the sound was right. However, for the MK2 generation, we wanted to appeal to a new user group of beginners and intermediate musicians to welcome to the Native Instruments ecosystem.
Ideation, Prototyping & Testing The design process was very agile and quick due to a tight project schedule. Using rapid prototyping with in-house 3D printers or external prototyping houses, we generate models in different maturity and complexity to then user test and validate for ergonomics and functionality. I always design with material and finish in mind to model a design that is also manufacturable and. within cost of tooling and production.
Qualitative and quantitative user research to understand the user's set up, use cases and feedback to the previous model. We realized that the following key elements were important to the user: - large volume knob - top-facing interface layout - LED volume meter
Design Solution From an industrial look and feel which was the majority of all the audio interfaces on the market, we wanted to move to a more contemporary clean look. The new all-black unibody design matches with the design language introduced with the latest. hardware releases. As the design lead, I was in charge of. all communication and design direction of this product series.