We are researchers, designers and engineers who inform
and translate strategy to create breakthrough physical
products, digital products and service experiences.
We design products that are expertly positioned, technically differentiated, robustly engineered, easy to use and desirable. We give form to user experiences through products that deliver on brand messages and on brand values, hitting performance and cost requirements necessary for success.
Because more aspects of work and everyday life are mediated by technology, we embrace an ever-closer connection between the physical and digital. We take a platform-agnostic approach to designing digital products including hardware, software, embedded interfaces, displays mobile, apps and web-delivered experiences
Services are a collection of experiences that may be delivered to users through physical interaction with a product, in person, through digital media – or some combination. We design and connect customer interactions and touchpoints to make sure they work together to deliver the best service to customers.
The empowered patient is increasingly aware that they are to assume a greater role in healthcare but they need the tools, strategies, and support to assist them in becoming informed and engaged medical consumers who make a positive impact on the quality of their healthcare. Scott Stropkay and Andy Palmer are presenting at SXSW to discuss how delivery methods for ideas and technologies shape the design of products and services in the healthcare space.
Gregg Draudt will be presenting for Brown University’s PRIME Program. PRIME is focused on teaching innovation management and entrepreneurship. Students learn to use emerging science and technology as a basis for economic strategies, business culture and entrepreneurship.
Scott Stropkay is a featured panelist for the Medical Development Group’s February Forum. The panel of experts are in the fields of surgical procedures, design, development, and robot manufacturing. They will share why and how robots are becoming crucial in all aspects of healthcare, what advances and improvements are predicted for robotic healthcare and some of the key challenges that remain in bringing more of these devices to the delivery of medical care.
How to design a design conference? That question was still floating in the air at the 2014 Harvard xDesign conference. Aside from the nuts and bolts of format and logistics, these conference organizers are grappling with the design community’s own identity crisis: what exactly is design? Or, more importantly, what isn’t design? Because design seems to encompass everything and everyone. And that makes for a disjointed conference. The day’s speakers were individually compelling, but it was impossible to find a common thread across panelists. Depth was sacrificed for breadth. The contrast between Marimekko’s graceful, ethereal printmaking and Viacom’s “Tampy” the tampon ad campaign was jarring.
Skilled product design engineer with expertise in the development of medical devices and consumer products, from conceptualization to manufacturing. Demonstrated success in simplifying complex systems, in collaboration with cross-functional teams.
Prior to Essential: Optim LLC
Education: B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Director of Research
Senior consultant leading Essential’s research efforts in product and service discovery and definition. Maps strategy opportunities and drives development agendas. Expert in the translation of user and channel inputs into design requirements for hardware, software, web interaction, device interaction, and service development projects.
Prior to Essential: Fitch, Scient, and independent consulting
Education: M.Des., Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology
B.A. Davidson College
Director of Marketing
Experienced and accomplished advocate for clients within Essential’s design teams. Directs Essential’s marketing and public relations to strategically position the firm’s messaging and offer. Danielle is expert in the art of aligning client needs with consultancy offers to develop effective marketing plans.
Prior to Essential: iProspect, Sappi Fine Paper
Associations: DMI, IDSA, AIGA, AMA
Education: B.S. Elementary Education, Green Mountain College
Director of Digital Experiences
Cross-functional team leader providing design research and analysis for projects integrating interaction design, industrial design and design strategy content. Authority on interactive systems with mobile device-based interfaces and devices supported by web-accessible content.
Prior to Essential: Microsoft
Associations: UPA, IDSA
Education: B.A., English, Yale
Graduate Certificate in User-Centered Design, University of Washington.
Passionate and analytical designer focused on aligning the goals of users and businesses to create thoughtful solutions for clients. Skilled in visualizing the synthesis of conceptual and technical criteria into meaningful products and services.
Prior to Essential: Mechtronics, Tool., The First Years
Education: B.I.D. Syracuse University
Director of Business Development
Senior consultant leading Essential’s business development by focusing on building strategies that provide product and service solutions for clients. Gregg is expert in leading innovation teams and holds more than 50 patents. He is passionate about helping clients shape and define the best path to success.
Prior to Essential: Radius, IDEO, RISD, Robert Luchetti Associates
Associations: IDSA, DMI
Education: MFA, Furniture Design, RISD
B.S. Social Analysis, University of Massachusetts
Versatile, hands-on engineer with a passion for design. Specializes in the development of real world manufacturing solutions and strategic execution of engineering specifications. Skilled in the design and fabrication of electro-mechanical systems. Entrepreneurial tinkerer continually seeking better methods and solutions that inspire others and delight users.
Prior to Essential: Bioactive Surgical, Boston University Imagineering Lab
Associations: ASME, SME
Education: B.S., Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Boston University
Consulting Principal Engineer
Senior project leader with deep experience managing development programs for medical devices, healthcare product systems, and complex consumer electronics with demonstrated skills in managing diverse requirements across broad, cross-functional teams.
Prior to Essential: Fitch
Associations: ASME, Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council
Education: M.Eng., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University; Medical Device Development: A QA/Regulatory Overview, Graduate Course, Northeastern University
Director of Engineering
Senior consultant leading Essential’s engineering development efforts. Advises clients on product development process and strategy. Authority in critical-path project management. Master engineering/development tactician; recognizing potential obstacles and leading teams past them for efficient and effective product development programs.
Prior to Essential: Fitch, a/d/s/
Associations: Society of Mechanical Engineers, Mass Medic.
Education: B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
Multifaceted designer of products, communications materials, and graphical user interfaces. Deep interest and expertise in trend analysis, color forecasting and color/material/finish definition. Creative and thoughtful in her design of web interactions, consumer products, toys, and soft-goods.
Prior to Essential: Worrell, Inc. and Little Tikes
Associations: IDSA, CMG
Education: B.A., Industrial Design, Cleveland Institute of Art
Certificate in Graphic Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
End-user focused designer of elegant product and packaging solutions. Generator and translator of consumer insights with experience creating innovations that have direct influence on the quality of the user’s product experience.
Prior to Essential: Smart Design, Carroll Design, Mattel
Education: B.A. Industrial Design, Cleveland Institute of Art
Accomplished product development professional advising clients on product portfolio approach and tactical product development issues in the medical and consumer product markets. Leader of cross-functional project teams and developer of sophisticated engineering designs. Manages Essential’s FDA compliant quality and risk management systems.
Prior to Essential: Proteus, Manta, IEC
Associations: ASME, SPE
Education: B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
Principal Designer, Digital Experiences
A creative thinker for a broad range of digital user experiences, Margaret brings focus to the process of translating business and technical requirements into successful user experiences. Engaging our clients collaboratively, she applies strategic thinking to the design development process so that solutions are usable, flexible, and scalable.
Prior to Essential: Fitch, Six Red Marbles, Sapient
Associations: IAI, Information Architecture Institute
Education: M.I.D., Master of Industrial Design, NC State School of Design
Senior Designer and master craftsman in the development of computer-aided-design databases and other digital deliverables for clients. Recognized leader and consultant to various CAD software developers.
Prior to Essential: Fitch
Education: B.A., Industrial Design, Massachusetts College of Art
Strategist and human factors specialist merging experience in marketing and user research to create value for clients. Paul’s cross-functional experience has helped him excel at crafting intuitive and useful products. Passionately curious, Paul strives to find the root needs and desires of those who will ultimately use the product.
Prior to Essential: PUMA, Partners In Health
Associations: CHI, UPA
Education: M.S., Human Factors, Bentley University, MBA, Bentley University, B.A., Psychology, USC
Leading advisor to companies on product innovation and authority in the field of design strategy. Speaker on the subject of the business power of design strategy, design vision and trends analysis. Active and extremely accomplished designer of successful, award winning products.
Prior to Essential: Fitch, GE Plastics
Associations: IDSA, DMI, APDF
Education: M.A., Industrial Design, Manchester Metropolitan University, England
B.A., Silversmithing, DE Montford University, England
Principal Interaction Designer
Senior team leader driving user experience and interaction design content into multi-disciplined projects across a wide range of industries. Experienced information architect in web and mobile application design. Passionate end-user experience advocate.
Prior to Essential: The Barbarian Group, RDVO, Tank Design, WBUR & Razorfish
Education: B.A. Human Factors and B.A. in English Tufts University
Leading advisor to companies on cross-functional innovation; integrating management, marketing, r&d, engineering, and manufacturing goals. Speaker on the subject of innovation process. Design strategist to companies seeking new opportunity definition in product, interaction and service development.
Prior to Essential: IDEO, Gillette
Associations: IDSA, DMI, APDF, Mass Medic
Education: B.F.A., Industrial Design, Cleveland Institute of Art
Director of Digital Experiences
Versed in applying a user-centric design vision to any experience, Sonya brings expertise in visual communication and interaction design for projects integrating user experience, design research and brand strategy. She has worked with consumer brands, media developers, financial, legal and medical clients developing web sites to product interfaces.
Prior to Essential: Irma Boom, Fitch, IDEO, Sapient, WGBH, UN-ICTY, Harvard Business Review
Education: MFA, Visual Communication, Virginia Commonwealth University
BA, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Artful manager of Essential’s business relationships with clients. Guides Essential in effective and efficient business practice management to focus the team’s attention on clients’ priorities. Also manages human resources and staff development activities.
Prior to Essential: Fitch
Education: Undergraduate in Business Administration, Poole College, England
Anthropologist and human factors specialist focusing on opportunity definition and usability research. Zarla’s experience centers on mobile and web applications ranging from healthcare platforms to financial services. Accomplished in recognizing usage implications from behavior patterns and translating research results into actionable design recommendations.
Prior to Essential: The Design and Usability Center, Autodesk
Associations: UPA, ACM, CHI
Education: M.S. Human Factors, Information Design, Bentley University
B.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado