2011 Router Language
Belkin, wireless, router, design language, performance, connected devices, Wifi, networking
- Thorben Neu, Creative Director
The proliferation of mobile devices and streaming media in people's homes dramatically increased the need for bandwidth in people's homes. The consumer needed better performance and a new wave of router upgrades was happening. Belkin was looking to update their complete router line in order to improve performance.
The primary goal for the product architecture was to enable the best possible performance by ways of antenna performance and ventilation. The vertical orientation of the router helps optimize the effectiveness of the antennas by lifting them off the ground and away from interfering surfaces. It is also supported convection cooling letting the air freely flow bottom up along both sides of circuit boards.
All vent slots are hidden between the side panels and center ring of the product so that they do not interfere with the advanced appearance of the router.
The board architecture was co-developed with the technical teams. It balances performance with user relevant factors such as the position of the interface and the connectors. The latter have been laid out bottom to top in the order in which they are connected in setup. The result is that the most likely connectors to be plugged in are all on the bottom, reducing visual clutter and improving stability.
Every step from opening the box to finishing installation is a coordinated experience designed to help the consumer set up the product by themselves without having to place costly service calls. The user gets just the right amount of information at every step of the way in order to fulfill the task at hand.
The cables come pre-connected in the box. This eliminates confusion and increases the chances of a successful install substantially. An easily accessible and “always there” service card under the router provides the user with essential information such as network name and password as well as guest access information. In consumer testing the packaging increased the number of successfully completed unaided installations from one in ten participants to nine in ten.
Product Architecture | Design Language | Industrial Design | OBX | Engineering Liaison
Design Team: Thorben Neu | Yuji Ikeda | Ernesto Quinteros | Oliver Seil | Avery Holleman | Michael Wick | Jon Plummer
Photography credit: Shelving system designed and photographed by Performa (www.performa.de) / Lunar eclipse courtesy of NASA / Exploded View designed and photographed by LUCYANDBART (www.lucyandbart.blogspot.com)