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Driving the future of auto-interiors

To build vehicle interiors that would enhance their customers' lives, Ford of Europe chose to collaborate with PDD. Working across three major European markets - France, Germany and the UK - PDD's researchers studied the behaviour of drivers in typical scenarios: from school runs to shopping trips, from deliveries and other business uses to family weekends away.

The findings led to two distinct strands of human-centred design development. The first, for domestic users in cars like the Ford Focus, was the concept of 'We Space' - using special features, lighting and other functionality to bring together the driver, navigator and back seat passengers. The second concept of 'Me Space' targeted commercial users - in vehicles such as Ford Transit vans - and centred on a secure and comfortable cocoon suitable for use eight hours a day.

In developing these concepts, PDD created a new kind of automotive prototype (or 'buck' as it's known in the industry): a grey buck. Combining elements from the industry's established prototypes, the grey buck allowed PDD to elicit more insightful responses from target customers across a wider-ranging set of issues.

PDD's approach generated such good ideas that Ford's senior managers "green-lighted" more of them than would normally be the case with comparable projects. By identifying revealing consumer insights and developing appropriate design solutions, PDD contributed to Ford's recent releases in the Focus and Transit ranges.

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A rewarding start to the year!

It’s been a great start to 2016. The first quarter is not yet over and already PDD has 3 new prestigious design awards to its name. PDD’s work with the health & personal care brand Swisslux and the Zyliss kitchenware brand has been awarded with Red Dot design awards. This was followed by a German Design Award for the Testo 870 Thermal Imager.

FordPDD was a natural choice for delivering meaningful innovation, due to its long experience in user research [and] design and technical development expertise.

Advanced Product Group, Ford of Europe