Chaz Ortiz / Photo:  Samuel McGuire

Chaz Ortiz / Photo: Samuel McGuire


Pushing the market with an authentic design process


an authentic story

JBL has offered authentic products rich in heritage for decades.  With a rapidly expanding sport headphone category alongside of proven technology and ergonomics, authentically designing for the action sport lifestyle could create horizontal growth and introduce a new generation to the brand.


Early Iterations and Prototyping

The action sport community has grown vastly in the past decade and encompasses a larger demographic than ever before.  While many competitors have entered the space with style-driven products, none have matched styling with performance-driven design.  My process was focused on creating an on-trend form language, while incorporating proven ergonomic features of the Yurbuds Endurance Line.  These early designs were prototyped, tested, and used to illustrate our strategy to key members of the business unit.


Design from the core

Committed to creating the most authentic product experience, we conducted four studies with over 462 participants.  Our hypothesis before testing was that this user group was not interested in overly-aggressive forms or highly contrasting colors.  As testing concluded, the results were a true depiction of the action sports market;  a form language more aggressive than anticipated, and a wide range of colors.  Our findings also displayed that these athletes were looking for functional features that have not been addressed in the current market space.  These insights furthered the development of form language, CMF, and features that resonated within the action sports lifestyle.


JBL GRIP: NEver falls out

JBL took the approach to design alongside their audience, and the result was a product unmatched in the category of action sport headphones. JBL Grip features award winning ergonomics that never fall out, while also allowing in ambient noise.  A faceted form language compliments the headphone's color palette and durable construction.  JBL Grip provides solutions for cord management in many use cases.  Whether it's a session with friends, or subway commute, the headphones are designed for all occasions giving the user options for one or two bud usage. With a design that resonates within the core audience, JBL Grip produces horizontal growth in an authentic way. 

Ben Ferguson / Photo:  Chris Wellhausen

Ben Ferguson / Photo: Chris Wellhausen