37 minutes | Mar 3, 2022

The Future of Product Selection

The design industry is going hybrid. Our latest research shows that the production selection process is increasingly blending both physical and digital. In this episode, ThinkLab explores this intersection and the reinvention of the offline/online experience. 


First, ThinkLab’s lead researcher, Erica Waayenberg, reveals the five key elements of product selection identified in our latest hackathon. Our next two guests are Matt Rebbe, design director for AECOM in Chicago, and Jenn Zella, co-founder and design director for CID Design Group. They discuss some of the benefits and challenges to working more virtually, including how client expectations have changed on in-person interactions. 


Finally, we look to the automotive industry for inspiration on how to revamp a static, traditionally analog industry by integrating digital. Ryan Keeton, co-founder and chief brand officer at Carvana, describes the company’s approach to reinventing the car-buying process, keeping the customer experience at the forefront. 


In this episode: 

[4:22] Erica explains her “aha” moment after digging into ThinkLab’s hackathon findings. 

[12:17] Jenn describes how manufacturers could help designers through enhanced virtual product demonstrations.  

[15:30] Matt stresses the value of communicating clearly as a designer, of being able to describe your vision. 

[29:13] Ryan discusses the importance of transparency in developing customer confidence in Carvana. 


Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn: 

Erica Waayenberg 

Matt Rebbe 

Jenn Zella  

Ryan Keeton 

This season of Design Nerds Anonymous is brought to you by Mannington Commercial, Keilhauer, theMART, and NeoCon, companies doing big things to move the design industry forward. 


Finally, thanks to Hannah Viti, our audio producer, and Blue Dot Sessions for providing the music for this episode. 

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