Co-design: Building MURO together.

After a mad Christmas there is currently a moment of calm at MURO ahead of our stock arriving  and launch at the London Toy Fair in the next couple of weeks.  But whilst it is quiet I would like to take the opportunity to talk about my vision for the future of MURO.

The founding principle of MURO is that we don’t know what you want, and we don’t want to tell you what we think you should have.  This is what led us to our modular design and it is going to form an integral part of our design process moving forward.  Already we have seen MUROs being used in ways that we didn’t expect or intend, and that is exactly what we want (ignoring the pang of remorse for the hours spent designing an unused feature!).

This has led us to a new idea: co-design.  

The usual design process involves various ‘closed-door’ rounds of design, prototyping and focus groups before initial models are let loose on customers in the market.  However, with co-design you, the customers, are brought into the design process at a much earlier stage.  Playing a key, decision-making role in shaping our designs that would allow us to launch new products faster, more efficiently and with less risk than ever before.  My hope is that this will be a win-win, as a business it makes perfect sense for us on many levels, but the question remains, whether our customers will see the benefits of collaborative design process.

To start with these ‘crowd decisions’ will be relatively simple, for example, deciding which designs get taken to manufacture. But I hope that crowd-participation will increase in complexity to the point where we end up manufacturing designs submitted by customers (eventually!).  Most importantly, we want the design process at MURO to be a conversation between us and those of using our products.

I’m aware that some of our backers are still awaiting their MURO, and delivering on our promises will always be the priority.  However during the Kickstarter process I have been touched by the support of our backers, and how people come together around a physical product.  Having built our foundations so firmly in community my aim is to incorporate this into everything MURO makes as we move beyond Kickstarter and into the future.