Written by the designer of AUGMENT for designophiles, this article discusses the complex elements considered in the design of an iPhone case as well as offering some insight into the design process applied in the development of AUGMENT.
Style, function, and manufacturability are the three main considerations in the design process of any product, however with every product comes its own set of constraints. In this article I will discuss the constraints that apply to iPhone cases and the theory behind the decisions made in the design process of AUGMENT.
The implementation of the AUGMENT mounting system was a driving factor in the overall form of the case. A squared design would not only provide a unique transforming style, but also allow maximum access at the base of the iPhone and a platform to seamlessly mount peripheral devices.
The section of the case surrounding the camera and flash of the iPhone is functionally very important to the performance of the camera. To avoid tainting the color balance of iPhone photography this area of the case is constrained to using only black material, meaning that this area will often be contrasting in color to other parts of the case. The contrasting nature of this section also makes it a strong visual element in the overall design of any iPhone case.
We approached our solution by combining the bold geometric design DNA of the RUBIX brand and building upon the square design of the overall product. The camera area styling was inspired by the 45° angle form language of the logo typeface and the ‘Golden Rectangle’ was then utilised to assist in determining the ratio and size of this cut-out to maintain good aesthetics.
Comfort and ease of use are paramount considerations for button features, but strong geometric visuals were also a key objective throughout the button design concept stage for this case. In the theory of design aesthetics, contrast and cohesion are equally important and the use of circular interaction points created the perfect balance between these two constraints.
Due to the manufacturing process and materials chosen we were also able to seamlessly integrate these features in line with the outer surface and without any visual break points. The concave shape of these buttons and soft material allows easy operation of the iPhone buttons while also protecting the iPhone surface from scratches.
The front surface
The front section of an iPhone case must prevent the device from falling out, but also ensure the device is relatively easy to install or remove. Our tapered edge solution satisfies these objectives while again contrasting with the otherwise flat surfaces and straight edges of the product. This tapered design also ensures the device is comfortable to use when accessing the edges of the iPhone screen.
If you are interested in reading more about the golden ratio and seeing some more examples of its implementation in design you can also check out the link below.