Karten Design

Karten Design is an award-winning product design and innovation consultancy passionate about creating extraordinary experiences between people and products. For 30 years, we have helped leading consumer product and medical device companies seize new opportunities, build their brands, and generate revenue by designing and developing beautiful, easy-to-use products that resonate with end users.



Medical Product Innovation

Inspired by deep empathy for the needs of patients, caregivers, and clinical professionals, we create health solutions that people love, increasing adoption and adherence.

Digital Health Product Innovation

Leveraging our 30 years of experience translating people’s complex needs into effective medical products and desirable consumer products, we develop “sticky” digital health solutions that provide clinical value and get consumers engaged.

Consumer Product Innovation

Delving deep into complex motivators that drive people’s behavior and decision-making, we create desirable solutions that inspire and empower.


Karten Design believes that people’s experiences with the products they use have a profound effect on their quality of life, driving feelings like ability and belonging. With every new design, we seek to inspire and empower. We delve into people’s lives, studying behaviors, ceremonies, motivation, beliefs, and emotions to build deep empathy.

We become advocates for end users during the product development process, rallying multi-disciplinary teams around their physical and emotional needs.

Our approach provides return on investment for our clients, who come to Karten Design because they want to make compelling products available to loyal, enthusiastic customers. By focusing on the user experience, we develop products that become strong brand ambassadors.

Project Portfolio



  • Starkey S Series with Sweep Technology

    Our research with hearing aid users revealed that adjusting volume and digital listening modes causes users daily frustration. We developed solutions for Starkey’s next-generation hearing aids that would make user interaction more comfortable and intuitive. The S Series hearing aid with Sweep Technology allows users to adjust settings with the subtle sweep of a finger.

  • Midmark IQSpiro Digital Spirometer

    The IQspiro digital spirometry system provides simple and effective testing for many pulmonary diseases, and is designed to promote correct patient positioning.

  • VIZIO Bluetooth Headphones

    These lightweight Bluetooth headphones are designed to look sophisticated and sleek, and can be used for either music listening or mobile communications.


  • Ikan Kitchen Scanner

    The Ikan is a time-saving electronic device that allows users to order groceries from the same place they manage their food - the kitchen.


  • ModeMapping

    To ensure that our field research translates into innovative, user-driven concepts as a project progresses from research to design, Karten developed ModeMapping—our proprietary tool for visualizing design research and engaging designers in extracting insights.


  • Starkey Zon Hearing Aid

    Driven by in-depth customer research, Karten Design introduced functional innovation and a dynamic new design language to Starkey’s behind-the-ear hearing aid line. The Zon quickly became Starkey’s most successful product launch in the company’s 40-year history and the fastest-selling hearing aid in the United States.

  • Discus Dental Zen Cordless Prophy

    Zen Cordless Prophy is the first cordless piece of dental equipment designed as a prophylactic tool; it facilitates freedom of movement for the hygienist and reduces clutter around the patient.


  • Hitachi GST Life Studio Mobile Plus

    The LifeStudio Mobile Plus is an external hard drive that provides users with an innovative new way to interact with their digital content. Unique design features, such as the industry’s first integrated USB key, redefine the function and purpose of the hard drive.


  • VIZIO Home Theater Headphones

    Comfortable wireless home theater headphones featuring active noise cancellation to reduce unwanted background noise, and a wireless iPod dock. 


  • Epidermits

    Karten Design’s award-winning concept project Epidermits is part pet part fashion accessory, made of engineered human tissue grown from its "owner." At Karten Design, we are frequently commercializing new technologies for widespread consumer use. We believe it’s important for us as designers to step back and think about the impact that our products can have. This concept project is a reflection on the responsibilities of designers in a world of rapid technological evolution.


  • Hitachi GST [re]drive

    The 500GB [re]drive, made from sustainable bamboo and recycled aluminum, is the world’s most energy-efficient, resource-conscious external hard drive.


  • Zyliss Cook-n-Serve Tongs

    Zyliss Cook-n-Serve Tongs introduce a new form factor to a tired kitchen tool, with smart design details such as comfortable ergonomics and better grips for different types of food.


  • Cardiac Science G3 AED

    Automated External Defibrillators are at the front lines in giving cardiac arrest victims the immediate care that is essential to save lives. Karten designed this AED to be durable and easy to use. A series of “ready kits” let rescue professionals take the devices into the field along with other important supplies.

  • Halo Made-for-iPhone Hearing Aid

    Halo is Starkey’s first iPhone-compatible hearing aid to deliver users a seamless hearing experience. With this design, we targeted a younger, tech-savvy demographic of hearing impaired people, leveraging the Apple brand to encourage earlier treatment of hearing loss.

  • OrthoSonos Joint Monitor

    Karten Design researched, designed, and engineered OrthoSonos, the first non-invasive system to monitor joint health acoustically. The system’s minimal, clean-lined appearance adds value to doctors’ practices, while a large graphic user interface helps surgeons communicate with and educate their patients. Our design has helped Bruin Biometrics build buzz, raise capital, and move OrthoSonos toward commercialization. 

  • Voyce Smart Collar

    Karten Design used our knowledge of consumer electronics and wearable health technology to design the world’s most sophisticated wearable device for pets. Voyce gives concerned owners a deeper look into their pets’ wellbeing by revealing key data trends, offering timely information, and providing actionable recommendations.

  • Artizan Expressions Dental Operatory Cabinetry

    These cabinets disrupt the dental furniture market by centering workflow around the patient’s needs. Informed by in-depth design research with dental staff and in high-end spas, Karten Design incorporated design details that downplay the intimidating dental equipment patients fear and instead create a welcoming, tranquil, spa-like experience instead.

  • V2 Renal Denervation System

    Vessix has a revolutionary system capable of treating high blood pressure with a simple 30-second procedure. Our design helped Vessix communicate the value of a complex technology in simple visual terms, enabling its sale to Boston Scientific for $425 million within 18 months of product development.

  • Heart Coach App

    Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) are complex computers with embedded sensors that can track heart rate, respiration, and other vital statistics. We partnered with Dr. Leslie Saxon, Chief of Cardiology at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, to imagine the first app to give patients data from their ICDs to help them optimize their behavior in four areas affecting their heart health: medication compliance, diet, exercise, and emotional health.

  • AliveCor ECG Heart Monitor

    The AliveCor heart monitor is the first FDA-cleared device to let patients monitor their heart rhythm through a smart phone, enabling cost-efficient, timely diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias for those at risk. Karten Design developed a universal smart phone mount that turns any smart phone into a precise electrocardiogram (ECG) reader, giving patients the freedom to easily track their cardiac rhythms anytime, anywhere.





4204 Glencoe Ave
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292




Stuart Karten



Karten Design has been honored with more than 100 of the design industry’s top global awards, including
GOOD Design
CES Innovations
red dot
IDA Product Designer of the Year and the Cooper-Hewitt People’s Design Award


Founded: 1984

Staff: 30

Capabilities: Design Strategy, Design Research, Industrial Design, Digital Design, Mechanical Engineering

Recent Clients: Our clients range from established brands to ambitious start-ups. Recent partners include AliveCor, Avery Dennison, CareFusion, DirecTV, Duracell, Jabra, Kohler, LG Electronics, Medtronic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Starkey and Vizio.

Awards: Karten Design has been honored with more than 100 of the design industry’s top global awards, including IDEA, GOOD Design, CES Innovations, red dot, IDA Product Designer of the Year, and the Cooper-Hewitt People’s Design Award.