Good design is at the heart of ASUS’ success. It was the reason that ASUS was able to impress Intel with its first 486 motherboard in 1989, and it’s the reason that ASUS products garner such high praise from the industry — ASUS products received 3,056 awards in 2008.
Until recently, the ASUS DESIGN team in Taipei, Taiwan designed all ASUS products. Established in 1998, the team has around 100 designers from around the world, but ASUS recently opened offices in Singapore and China with another 30 people.
The design headquarters is split into nine teams that are responsible for such areas as market research, material development, mechanical design, industrial design and packaging. Regardless of their area of specialty though, the design teams always work with one thing in mind — the user experience. All design is ultimately about people and a successful product is one that people love to use.
Although most new products are designed according to ASUS roadmaps, inspiration for some comes from ASUS DESIGN’s annual brainstorming sessions. Each session has a theme to help generate ideas and these themes subsequently exert a strong influence for key ASUS products.
For example, the ‘luxury theme of 2006 led the development of the high-end ASUS-Lamborghini gaming laptops and the leather-covered S6 ultraportable. Both the U6 Bamboo and original Eee PC laptops were the result of 2007’s ‘green’ theme, while this year’s theme of ‘user experience’ has turned ASUS DESIGN’s attention to software and innovative user interfaces.
Design, of course, is never static and products need to constantly evolve in order to meet the ever-changing needs of users — and to create new openings in the market. One perfect example of how ASUS is constantly seeking new ways to innovate is with the development of the Eee PC 1008HA Seashell. The stunning slimline industrial design came first and then it was down to the ASUS R&D department to figure out how to squeeze a motherboard into it…
Despite its significant success to date, ASUS DESIGN is never content to rest on its laurels. Product design is a key factor for any well recognise brand and, as the design team says, the product to be most proud of is always “the next one”.