x-box sketch session

Since we all where talking the talk bashing the x-box (self included), this might be a good place to put up or, well you know…

In this thread post rough ideas and quick concept sketches. We can start another thread for more finished renderings. Have fun and I hope you post. It will be great to see everbody’s thoughts around gaming.

I’ll start:

Afew thumbnails scanned out of my sketchbook. Nothing concrete, just messing around at this point. I like the idea of having two parallel forms, one for the CD tray, the other for ports and controls. I also like the idea of an x shaped sand cast aluminum stand, even though it is a little cheese. not in love with anything yet, still playing.

Need to work on your sketches, I feel that the drawings though quick do not show any solid concepts. I just see a bunch of router looking boxes and a clamshell. Microsoft ,Ps2 , Gamecube and others have established there consumers by the style that they give the unit and of course later by the games that they offer on that particular system. I think it would be interesting to see the form of the unit in the shape of an X possibly where the cordless controllers fit into the open parts of either end of the X shape and the cd is dropped in from the top slot load, maybe at an angle.Or maybe by having part of the x vertical and the other part horizontal, allowing for ports on the vertical and power and others on the horizontal(and vice versa).

Just kick off sketches sketched 2 minutes before the post to get things rolling, but you’re right, there isn’t much origional there. Never is in the first page of doodles though in my experience.

your idea sounds cool, sketch it and post it.

this project is about having fun, so let’s try our best to keep things light and constuctive (note to self)

Did this 2 years ago for viscom class. The first one was done on vellum. Second on newsprint.

I like to nail the design brief before putting pen to paper:

Conspicuous: don’t blend in
Coveted: would own it even if it did nothing
Total Mind/Body separation: form does not equal function
Brand the Green X (avoid MS anything)
Intelligent: design usable elegance into every connector and button
Teenagers first: This is about escapism, and everyone want’s to be 18 again
It’s about shared experiences (online gameplay)
Its personal: Keeper of your avatar/online persona
Its about fun

Semantic Descriptors:
Box (duh)
Extreme Fun (in the dirtbike/paintball kinda way)
Menacing/Taunting/Beckoning (come get some!)
Otherworldly/Higher intelligence

some quickies-gotta get outa tht box

more comming–

MCow, I’d like to see what you could do with it now. Those look a touch old, and a touch out of perspective. I bet you could whip up something pretty hot relatively quickly at this point.

CG, completely agree with your brief. A lot of must haves there in my mind. Interestingly enough there was a decent write up in Time magazine (the May 23rd issue I think) about the xBox 360. Their breif is almost the exact opposite of yours. In fact their biggest “break through” was when they focus tested the design and people said they couldn’t tell if it was made by Sony or Apple. I know they want to go for a more sophisticated, home decor look, and by all means, this is a good way to go, but at least attempt to stand for some kind of origionality as well eh? OK, down of the soap box, cg, can’t wait to see what it looks like.

DV, great stuff man. I was curious to see what you would do. Very Syd Mead in a good way. I like it.

Just some more doodles for me. I was at the coast for a three day weekend, so not much time spent on this. I did do some doodles in my sketch book, mostly influenced by the rock formations out here on the Oregon coast (think Goonies). As far as materials I am on this old school leather and metal casing. I think this should look more valuable, but very attainable at the same time. I also read they loose money on every xBox sold, but make it all back on the softwear, so whats a few bucks more into the FOB.

yo -

thanks on the comments just check-out his work-looks really smooth I like his race bike-

the handles that you are working on are comming along nicely. I would like to see more connection with the controller an the xbox device, interesting some of the sketches on the lower left look like a human head form- also looks like you are incorporating a computer monitor feel the the device. also a idea that fits with MS.

keep’em coming-

post soon–

some new quick ideas–

the top sketches really just trying to get away from box idea an run off the abstract shape an incoporate the “x” shape.

Classic. Focus groups will NEVER help you differentiate your product. They will always tell you what they know, and they know Apple and Sony.

What I want to know is why MS wants people to confuse their product with those made by their competition? How does that help them gain marketshare? If I like Sony, I’m not going to buy something Sony-like, I’m going to buy Sony!

If people view you as inferior, one of the best strategies is to focus on what makes you different. With XBOX, different = bold. If MS was to ditch their focus groups and spend some time visiting their customers, they’d probably figure that out.

Classic. Focus groups will NEVER help you differentiate your product. They will always tell you what they know, and they know Apple and Sony.

I tend to believe that a successful focus group isn’t so much what the people say that makes them valuable. As you say above, they will migrate to what is familiar or easy for them to quantify:

“I like Sony, therefore it looks like Sony and must be good” instead of “I like that it is a low profile modernist-style product with good material choices and unique color usage”

IMO the focus group model is successful to provide the company a gauge as to whether they are in the right direction. There is nothing actionable retrieved from a pile of “I like red” comments.

So far, my experience has proven that the design direction to go with is usually NOT the top choice of the group but a successful outlyer. One that people react to positively, but not overwhelmingly. Upon a second or third look they continue to warm to it. It grows on them. Eventually becoming an icon.

Based on what I read in the many Xbox 360 articles that are floating about, the new design satisfied the immediate positive focus group reaction. Which generally means that by the time it reaches the market it is dated.

Anyone else have the same experience with focus groups? I am far from a focus group veteran, but what experience I do have has proven this out to me more than once.


I created a new thread in Design Research to discuss the focus-group issue.

Sketch on!

Here is my first shot… I did these super quick… Just loosen my mind up to the idea…


Thanks for setting up a sepate discussion cg.

Lets keep this one to the project at hand.

that’s great, do you have a sketch?

cg, good call on setting up some direction. its so important, most people just start sketching like a monkey. its nice to know what youre drawing and why. you dont see that too often, i like your thinking.

digitalvision, what kind of paper is that, and what white pencil/pen do you like to use for highlights? ive been thinking about going to a nonwhite paper for a while, but its slim pickings trying to find a good white instrument.

Your absolutely correct, setting up some parameters is essential. I’m sure that everyone that has put forth the effort to post a sketch has done that for themselves… but this IS a sketch forum, so bring it next time.

I’m more interested in seeing all of the people that bitched on and on about the design of thee x-box 360 for like 5 pages straight( New XBOX )… self included, put forth some effort and show their vision for the product.

Great design doesn’t allways follow consumer wants, for the presice reason that consumers usually don’t know what they want, they most likely can’t even articulate what they need. IMO good design delivers exactly what people are looking for in a nice wrapper, but Great design infers what people might need/want, makes an educated guess, and develops concepts based around that, to lead people somewhere new. Otherwise we’d all have AM transistor radios instead of 30 gig hard drives that hold podcasts.

To do this, sometimes it is best to just start sketching, to let the unconscious mind take over a bit and to work more at an intuitive level, so as a designer, you can push beyond the expected. There’s always time to fit stuff in later in the process. This thread is about the intitial gesture.

So any of you guys got any sketches or what? There seemed to be quite a bit of enthusiasm around this at the start. What happened to the momentum?

The sun got in my eyes. Or did my dog eat my homework? Got distracted by that porn site…again? Um…