KUPU

A unique game controller designed to balance ergonomics and aesthetics

DISCIPLINE

Industrial Design

DURATION

Fall 2019 | 3 Weeks

TEAM

Bryan Lee Budiman (client)

HOW MIGHT WE...

design a unique game controller that meets both the ergonomic and aesthetic specifications of our client?

 

THE PROCESS

WHO IS BRYAN?

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Bryan is a 22 year old student at the University of Washington. His hometown is in Indonesia and his favorite hobbies include sports and drawing.

He doesn't game that often, but he'd like to play more. When he does play, he usually plays racing games.

WHAT IS HIS AESTHETIC?

Bryan's aesthetic is self-described as "sporty chic", consisting of sleek, elegant, and organic forms that convey a sense of speed or motion.

Additionally, he expressed that he prefers flashier designs — if this game controller was to actually live in his home, he would like it to look "so cool that my guests are like, "whoa, what is that?"

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Prototypes' dimensions were made to fit Bryan's hands.

ERGONOMICS

MARKET RESEARCH

Many existing game controllers for racing have a traditional wheel component; however, Bryan very clearly expressed that he wanted to stray from the norm.

 

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stationary

 

portable

 

intuitive

 

unique

 

traditional wheel component is intuitive but boring

more engaging interactions than just pressing buttons

set-ups felt clunky, inelegant

interesting smaller scale interactions

prefers the lighter, sleeker aesthetic

THE PRINCIPLES

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UNIQUE

eye-catching to draw the attention and interest of Bryan's guests

 

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ACTIVE

mentally and physically engaging, gets Bryan immersed in the game

 

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ERGONOMIC

a given, must be fit to Bryan's hands

 

IDEATION

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01

accordion / flexible joints for adjusting hand positions comfortably

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02

twistable / motion simulates revving of an engine for racing games

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03

grooves / can be used separately or joined into one controller with finger grooves for comfort

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04

origami / can be folded and unfolded for easier storage + eye-catching form

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05

twistable / motion simulates revving of an engine for racing games

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06

traditional wheel / wheel attachment which can be expanded and contracted

PROTOTYPING

ROUND ONE

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The prototypes looked flat and two-dimensional and did not really meet Bryan's personal aesthetic — I was focused too much on having organic forms and unique concepts rather than maintaining a "sporty chic" feel.

However, they were very useful to figuring out which forms fit his hands the best.

From there, we decided to further explore three of the seven concepts, as we felt that they had the most potential for refinement to fit Bryan's aesthetic and interactive needs.

 

ROUND TWO

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01

02

03

origami / interesting but clunky and hard to build

 

detachable / most ergonomic but unattractive form, looks two dimensional

 

twistable / most room for further development, unique twisting motion

 

Concept 03 had the most room for further form development, and so I proceeded to refine its profile to better fit Bryan's "sporty chic" aesthetic as well as ergonomics.

 

ROUND THREE

In my third round of prototyping, I solidified the controller's form language and features.

 

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light + speedy form reminiscent of a butterfly

finger grooves for comfort

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detachable parts for various methods of usage

sheath to indicate hand placement + secure grip

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ball joint for full rotation

buttons located on thumb panel

natural curve for thumb placement

 

THE SOLUTION

"Kupu kupu" means "butterfly" in Indonesian, Bryan's mother tongue.

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ACTIVE

With its detachable and rotating parts, KUPU is versatile and engaging in its user interactions.

ERGONOMIC

With its natural curves and grooves, KUPU is designed to maximize user comfort.

UNIQUE

With its eye-catching form reminiscent of a butterfly, KUPU is one-of-a-kind.