THRIVE Wins Two Prestigious Product Design Awards at IDEA 2021
ATLANTA, GA — THRIVE, a product development and innovation strategy firm based out of Atlanta, Georgia, captured two major product design awards at the 2021 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Among the highest recognitions a company can receive for its innovative products and industrial design, the IDEA Awards, created by the Industrial Designers Society of America, exist to celebrate cutting-edge design innovation.
THRIVE’s collaboration with Mirion Technologies (a leading manufacturer of radiological instruments) on the Mirion AccuRad Personal Radiation Detector (PRD) and the Mirion Design Language System (DLS) garnered the Atlanta and Chicago-based product development firm two product design awards. A Silver in the Commercial & Industrial Products category and Featured Finalist designation in the Concepts & Speculative Design category, respectively.
With more than 2,000 entries from 25 countries, this year’s IDEA Product Design Awards received the largest number of submissions in its entire 41-year existence. Widely considered to be the most difficult and prestigious of awards programs for design teams to win, the judges base their decisions on the benefit to society, individual users and the environment.
About the Mirion AccuRad Personal Radiation Detector (Silver)
The Silver-winning Mirion AccuRad PRD is a handheld device purpose-designed for law enforcement, fire rescue, and other emergency responders to search and find illicit man-made radiological threats for interdiction and response. Designed to be carried on a first responder’s tactical belt or webbing, the AccuRad PRD automatically detects radioactive and nuclear sources, alerting the user when a threat is detected, triggering selectable audio, visual, and/or vibration alarms.
The AccuRad PRD is an industry first with “on-the-move” localization technology for directional source pinpointing, using a built-in radar screen to help responders locate trouble faster. Built to be discrete, the AccuRad PRD is also the first PRD to have dual displays with an easy-to-read top-screen enabling users to glance at a reading without removing the PRD from their belt, which prevents unwanted curiosity and fear among people in public spaces.
Additionally, THRIVE made the personal radiation detector easy to operate with little training, removing unnecessary functionality, and increasing displays’ size for easy reading at a glance in high-stress situations. The user interface information was kept large and minimal, with units spelled out instead of represented by cryptic symbols only experts understand.
To determine what the AccuRad should look and feel like, the THRIVE team spent hours in the field with first responders, observing them and shadowing them to understand their exact needs and frustrations in the context of their daily lives. From that contextual research, THRIVE uncovered three critical Ideal User Experience principles — the device had to be foolproof, discrete, and durable.
The success of the AccuRad is evident by the fact that it secured 43 new accounts in the first 12 months, including the U.S. Capitol Police, The Los Angeles Police Department, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. It also won 50% of the $121MM contract for the Securing the Cities (STC) program, a five-year program funded through the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office seeking to reduce the risk of a successful deployment of a radiological / nuclear terrorist weapon in U.S. cities. Further validating the success of the AccuRad is the fact that Mirion has far exceeded its goal of achieving a 10% market share at launch in the first year. Working with THRIVE on this radiological device was the first time Mirion directly engaged its end-users as co-creators in the new product development (NPD) process. Prior to this human-centered co-creation approach, the radiation experts at Mirion had a technology-driven methodology, which resulted in products that were typically difficult to use and unvalidated by the market’s needs.
About the Mirion Design Language System (DLS) (Featured Finalist)
On top of the AccuRad PRD, Mirion requested THRIVE’s help unifying their existing product portfolio as another one of the award winners. Due to a substantial amount of mergers and acquisitions, the radiological device manufacturer had experienced significant growth, resulting in a disparate set of 550 products, 155 applications, and 8 brands that had no common family look and feel.
THRIVE helped Mirion to scale design, reduce design debt, and build brand equity through consistent interactions, and a harmonized product experience across a range of representative design concepts. Rigorous analysis of Mirion’s portfolio revealed that despite its size and perceived complexity, all of its products and applications were based on three primary use cases: Alert, Search, and Analyze.
Classifying these use cases, coupled with systems thinking, enabled THRIVE to develop the Featured Finalist DLS, which would tell the story of the Mirion brand and determine how the brand should look, feel, sound, and behave. The result — seamless application of the brand through simplified communication design and the creation of an identity composed of the brands DNA, visual tone, and a set of design principles, featuring 16 signature elements.
The Mirion DLS has launched internationally across the organization, providing teams with a shared understanding of the brand and how it should be manifested in all new products to achieve the best product design. In the past, independent product teams started from scratch with every new project — a practice that was costly, wasteful, and inefficient. Now, with a single source of truth, efforts are focused on communicating a common brand personality within an agreed-upon language.
More About The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)
This international design competition is centered around encouraging and celebrating the best design of the year and excellence across a wide variety of industries and areas, ranging from home goods, consumer electronics, to medical devices. Every year, the product design awards grow dramatically, as evidenced by the sheer number of entries. To place in these awards means the products are positively impacting the lives of the end-users. For more information, visit IDSA.org/IDEA.
More About THRIVE
THRIVE is an award-winning, ISO 9001 certified product development and innovation strategy firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. We work with ambitious leaders to build brands and experiences that people love through Informed Design™. Our work gives leaders, teams, and organizations the courage and conviction to move confidently forward and design what’s next. You can find our innovations positively impacting lives in homes, hospitals, and businesses around the world.