Fast Company sat down with littleBits founder Ayah Bdeir for a Q & A – check it out here!
How do you ensure that littleBits’ products are appealing to both an average consumer and a tech aficionado?
At littleBits, we are democratizing hardware by empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small, with our platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks. To make something democratic, it has to be accessible, and that means to users of all technical levels, backgrounds, ages, and fields of expertise. That is why we designed the platform to have a very low barrier to entry, but also a very high ceiling. Our customers range from the makers to the entrepreneurs and everyone in between, including students and educators, as well as engineers. When working with littleBits, the time it takes to create, invent, and innovate is dramatically reduced. What used to take hours, days, or weeks to prototype, can now be done in a matter of minutes. It’s pretty exciting to see a student create a circuit for the first time, or hack their backpack to add safety lights or create an automatic cat feeder at home; but it’s also as exciting to see an engineer use it to prototype and test their concept quickly and affordably. We know our customer base is diverse and we design littleBits to meet these needs. We also have a very robust community and Global Chapter network that provides us with continuous feedback and innovative ideas.
What are some of your greatest challenges when creating components that are highly functional, but also designed to a specific aesthetic?
Any time you are creating a product for consumers, you want it to be functional and visually pleasing . For me, design has always been a part of my life. Even though I studied engineering, I always loved design and since my sisters studied design, design was an important part of our household growing up,. When I created littleBits, I wanted to break stereotypes around electronics. Why do circuits have to be green? Why do they have to be ugly? Why do they have to be hidden? We wanted to create circuits that were not scary to those that didn’t have engineering experience. I wanted them to be friendly and approachable, and also easy to understand, hence the colors on the electronic building blocks: blue is always a power supply; pink controls the output (for example, a slide dimmer is pink); green make changes to the surroundings, such as motors, buzzers, lights, and speakers; orange changes the direction of the circuit or splits it in two.