In our last post with Li Ningning, senior director of ID, Mi Ecosystem, we learned about her thoughts on the Mi Ecosystem design. Now, we dive deeper into Mi Ecosystem’s ID team and its opinion and plans for Xiaomi’s design.
Tell us more about the Mi Ecosystem’s design team.
Our team keeps growing. What started as a 2-3-person team has grown into a team of almost a dozen members.
The team is extremely diverse and our designers come from various backgrounds. Work experience is extremely important when we hire new talent and we ensure that their previous design work matches the tone of our tastes.
I trust my team, and we have team brainstorms to get initial ideas going. Then, I let the right person take over a project in which he has more interests and is more familiar with the topic. I think if you love a product, you will be more inspired and have the patience to carry through the design.
Do Mi Ecosystem designers receive any perks for impressive designs?
Xiaomi attaches more and more importance to designs and provides designers with rewards; however, what drives our designers relentlessly is the recognition from more authoritative design experts and associations.
After winning the Gold iF World Design Award and the Red Dot Best of the Best 2017 Award, our designers were given an incentive trip to Germany to see world-class industrial design. This was a great reward that will directly benefit our work.
Xiaomi invested in 89 ecosystem companies. How does the ID team solve the disagreements and conflicts among so many moving components?
We have very strict standards for quality control and we push our ecosystem companies to increase yield rates. Our designers are encouraged to go to front-line to get a better understanding of manufacturing and operation. This allows our designers and our ecosystem companies to have better mutual understanding, knowing how strict we are with our products and designs.
Some products seem simple, but require complex techniques. Take our Yeelight Beside Lamp, Mi Beside Lamp and Mi LED Desk Lamp, for example. Each lamp uses a different technique, which was more difficult than initially expected, so massive production with the same standard can’t work. We strive to overcome difficulties, by working closely with our partners and ecosystem companies to create a great product.
What do you think of Western and Eastern design styles? Are they very different or are they becoming more similar? Why?
Western and Eastern aesthetic tastes are becoming more similar. They learn from each other and add shared elements to their designs.
How long is the life span for consumer product designs?
Five years at most, but this is not the fault of designers or designs. Consumer product designs are largely affected by hardware, which updates very, very fast, so design styles have to change accordingly.