Delve (formerly Design Concepts) is an innovation and product development consultancy with more than 50 years of experience helping companies worldwide to uncover needs, discover opportunities and design solutions that create business success. Through our multidisciplinary teams, we provide the experienced and unbiased counsel, polished deliverables and proven results you need to successfully navigate the risks of product development.
Our front-to-back-end innovation services include expertise in user research, business and design strategy, industrial and user experience design, human factors, electrical and mechanical engineering, and in-house prototype development.
We approach each project with an eye to the business success of our clients to ensure that we deliver solutions that are not only exciting but commercially successful. We’re keenly aware of those not-so-sexy parts of development that can make or break a project. Picking the right ideas that create value is more difficult than just sketching cool ideas. That’s where we shine. We work for our clients’ success, not just our portfolio. And our portfolio, which is filled evocative solutions to challenging projects, is great because of that commitment.
Our team of around 70 smart, caring professionals located in Madison, Wisconsin, and San Francisco, are partners in your product development journey. We’re small enough to provide individual attention, customized solutions and across-the-board accountability and big enough to deliver smart, proven results.
Whether it’s an anesthesia machine or a batting helmet, the elegant solutions we design improve the way people live, work and play. And, just as important, they help companies grow.
Our clients include many of the most successful healthcare, industrial and consumer goods companies in the world including:
- GE Healthcare
- John Deere, P&G
- Newell Rubbermaid
- Boston Scientific
- Black & Decker
- Amazon, Wilson Sports
- SC Johnson
- Wolf Sub-Zero
Services & Capabilities
- Design insights & strategy
- Business strategy
- Industrial design
- Interaction design
- Service design
- Human factors engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Prototype development
Over the decades, Design Concepts has been recognized many times for our work. The most recent awards include:
- 2019 Core 77 Award, Medical & Health Winner for Dexcom G6
- 2019 Silver IDEA Award, Dexcom G6
- 2019 Silver MDEA, Dexcom G6
- 2018 Good Design Award, Perlick Collection
- 2018 DMI 2nd Place Design Value Award for SafetyNet
- 2016 DMI 3rd Place Design Value Award for Pelvalon Eclipse System
- 2016 Bronze IDEA for OneWeb user terminal and satellite hub system
- 2016 Gold Edison Award for Pelvalon Eclipse System
- 2015 Endgadget Best of CES, FitLinxx AmpStrip
- 2015 Gold Spark Award, FitLinxx AmpStrip
- 2014 Silver Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA) for Spacelabs Healthcare ARKON Anesthesia Delivery System
- 2014 Red Dot Award, Spectrum Brands’ Remington HyperFlex Series
- 2014 Stanley H. Caplan User-Centered Product Design Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) for Bioventus EXOGEN Ultrasound Bone Healing System
Proton therapy has many advantages. It effectively targets cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue and organs. But the experience isn't easy on stressed patients. That's why when ProNova decided to develop a more compact and affordable version of the equipment, they asked us to design the overall experience including system aesthetics, general room layout, and information architecture of treatment interfaces with the goals of increasing efficiency, accuracy and throughput.
To increase comfort for patients, we designed a more intimate treatment room that features a partially obscured nozzle that lessens the sense of the equipment's scale. Every piece of equipment that a technician or patient would see or touch has a modern, simple cover. The ceiling awning is strategically placed so a patient can watch a projected video during treatment to help the time pass more quickly.
For technicians, we designed an elegant control pendant, console and single-action snout clamp. Digitally, we defined the workflow for each type of patient treatment and created the information architecture for the five touchpoints used during the procedure. Working with ProNova’s software team, we designed the process and the accompanying screens. We created the user-friendly, information-rich visual design of all digital interfaces. This includes the treatment room projections that communicate procedure status to increase technician efficiency.
Velasso LINKA bike lock
Eight-five percent of stolen bikes are inconspicuously ridden away. Velasso focused on smart technology that immobilizes the wheel and locks it to the frame while sounding a 100 decibel siren if the lock senses that the bike is being tampered with. The Bluetooth-enabled LINKA bike lock will recognize you through your smartphone and will automatically unlock as you approach so you don’t need to carry a key. It also features tamper alerts that are sent to you via your smartphone in the event that your bike is messed with. The built-in siren is programmed to minimize false alarms by discerning between the movements of thieves and someone who might have accidently bumped your bike.
A lock this smart deserves an equally smart aesthetic. The goal was to create a design and form factor that cyclists would be excited to put on their bikes. Design Concepts created a signature look for the LINKA that is modern, elegant and unobtrusive. The round, streamlined design highlights the lock’s enhanced functionality.
Seeing a city from the back of a pedicab is a unique experience that’s fast enough to get you where you need and slow enough to allow you to really appreciate the streets on which you’re traveling. Coaster, which operates pedicab operations in several large cities, was looking to create and manufacture a next-generation pedicab that’s mechanically reliable, an eye-catching billboard for advertising, and a fun experience for both riders and drivers.
Our team included avid cyclists with experience designing and engineering bicycles. They brought their expertise to the inner workings of the bike, creating a sturdier gearing and braking system. The stylish, approachable design provides comfortable seating, cover from the elements and an unobstructed view of the surroundings for passengers. It offers more storage and better lighting visibility for drivers. Finally, the cab is wrapped in plastic panels that can be easily removed, decorated with advertising, and re-attached by Coaster mechanics.
Perlick, a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential refrigeration, wanted to offer a column refrigerator/freezer product platform as part of their complete in-home luxury kitchen appliance suite. Building off their century of refrigeration expertise, we helped them understand what luxury meant for their customers and identify opportunities to improve the refrigeration experience.
The Collection brings together commercial-grade performance, high-end style, and ultimate usability. The clean, minimal design can seamlessly integrate into any kitchen designer’s vision but gives the home owner a clear sense of luxury at every touch point. The materials and color palette were chosen for durability, aesthetics, and their ability to showcase the beauty of fresh foods and beverages. The design conveys luxury through its sexy, high-contrast palette, dark slate drawers on the bottom, and bright stainless steel on the top. Color blocking has a stunning impact when opening the door and functionally showcases different foods and beverages.
Ciari Guitars is a startup based on the desire for a truly awesome, easy to use travel guitar. It had to fit in a backpack that could stow in an overhead plane compartment, be lightweight, look and feel normal, and be easy to lock and unlock.
We worked with a luthier (guitar fabricator/instrument maker) to help us work on the details from spec, size, look and feel – everything related to the fine art of instrument making. We built test fixtures and ran life cycle testing of the mechanism and tuning checks to see how the strings would hold up to repeated folding and tuning. The folding mechanism we designed and engineered turned into a work of art. The team decided to put a clear back on the guitar to show it off.
While users of the Dexcom system greatly valued its enhanced ability to monitor their glucose levels, applying the subcutaneous sensor to their bodies was an obvious pain point that was a barrier to wider adoption.
Taking what was an 11-step manual process and making it into a simple, automatic four-step process that’s both quick and painless required a great deal of sophisticated engineering work that’s invisible to the user. The applicator's design is functional and friendly with a simple, clean form that’s easy to hold and intuitive to use. We also redesigned the wearable transmitter, making it smaller, stronger, more attractive and easier to insert. It’s now smooth and sleek, with nothing that can catch on clothing.
1010 E. Washington Ave., Suite 210
Madison, WI 53703
West Coast Studio
216 11th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
East Coast Studio
68 Harrison Ave., Suite 601
Boston, MA 02111