My Book II for Western Digital
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Updating a disruptive design to combat competition
Mp3s, scrapbooking, and amateur photography and filmmaking have all lent a hand in building a demand-driven market for affordable home data storage. Western Digital (WD) recognized this opportunity space—and the potential commoditization of its industry—in 2006, when it reached out to IDEO to create a differentiated brand and product, resulting in the original My Book external hard drive.
After a series of 2007 mergers in the personal data storage industry, WD digital faced the challenge of regaining the worldwide market leader position. Again, seeking the help of IDEO, WD sought to create the next generation of the successful My Book hard drive.
Revisiting and validating the research from the previous iteration of the My Book, IDEO found ways to further differentiate the product and brand, while maintaining a consistent enough design language that it could be easily recalled and requested by consumers. The design’s stand-up, book-inspired form was made slightly thinner to allow for a smaller, more space-efficient footprint. Assembled from just two parts and free of fasteners, the design is quickly and easily produced, lending to its cost-efficiency and contaminant-free production. The clever heat-dissipating vent pattern—Morse code of the product attributes—was updated to reflect the new design of the drive. The signature fuel-gauge space indicator was also reworked to complement the shapely new design. In addition, the packaging, collateral, and point-of-sale materials were redesigned to showcase the new drive.
According to tech-review site cnet.com, the Western Digital My Book studio editions is, “quite possibly the sexiest external hard drive we’ve seen.”
Project date: 2007