Working on behalf of US skincare company Nu Skin, Gimelli Laboratories asked PDD’s Hong Kong studio to help design and develop a galvanic beauty treatment device for home use across Asia. The challenge was to create a hand-held unit that replicated the results only previously achieved within beauty salons.
Using an electric current to stimulate blood flow and allow therapeutic gels to penetrate the skin, the galvanic approach can help smooth out wrinkles and remove toxins and blemishes. Salons with trained personnel using table-size devices traditionally dominated this market. However, despite customers usually appreciating the treatment’s results, they also found it relatively expensive and inconvenient.
Nu Skin wanted an affordable yet effective device, small enough to use in the home. However, neither the skincare company or Gimelli had the relevant experience in terms of design and user experience. Therefore, PDD had to draw upon its own expertise to address the technical and ergonomic challenges associated with such a unit. For example, the team needed to seal off the circuit boards, power source and other internal components to protect the unit from humidity and splashes. At the same time, users had to be able to access the batteries easily.
In addition, Nu skin wanted the unit to be as compact as possible and to accommodate three different applicators (for the hair, face and body). The company also advocated an assembly process using sonic welding, further limiting the team’s creativity in sizing and shaping.
PDD used foam models to conduct extensive ergonomic tests with consumers in the target markets. This ensured that the final design encouraged users to hold the unit in the right way, maintaining a constant flow of current via the device’s conductors. This helps to optimise treatment results.
Since the product first launched, Nu Skin has built a network of over one million distributors worldwide that includes individual consumers as well as salons and spas.
PDD’s extensive healthcare design experience and base in Hong Kong proved the ideal combination for this project. Working alongside Gimelli Laboratories, the team produced a unique handheld unit that allowed Nu Skin to create and dominate a new consumer market in the target geographies.