Rubbermaid Active View™ Lands On Store Shelves
Active View, code-named “Pilers,” was the product line that was still in development when I left Eldon. Through ethnographic research, we identified a need for an alternative way of organizing all the piles of stuff that so many of us try to maintain on our desktops.
In the frantic every day of work, we found that many people were so inundated with so much information and numerous projects, that they were no longer filing things because they knew that things would slip through the cracks… “out of sight, out of mind.” Being a market leader in desktop and file storage office products, with countless products in nearly every conceivable color, material, and configuration, we were a little puzzled at all the disorganized desks we saw. Once we identified it, we realized that the problem was right under our noses, somewhere in one of the piles on our own desks.
Like the disorganized supply cabinet, we had identified a problem that ran so deep as to be accepted as part of life. And like Shelf Savers™, we saw an opportunity to introduce products that helped solve this universal problem by working with the user, rather than trying to force them to organize the “proper” way.
Brave New Product Development World
The Consumer Segment Manager was a new position created as part of a reorganization and new strategy for new product development. This new role was the product of the success of Shelf Savers. Shelf Savers demonstrated an ideal situation… the development of not only new products but the introduction of a new product category to the industry. Realizing that continual company growth needed more than just line extensions, a new approach had to be crafted.
The Consumer Segment Manager was the new approach. Unlike existing Product Manager positions where line maintenance is constantly competing with new product development, the CSM’s were 100% new product-focused. However, Product Managers would still be utilized to manage existing lines and development of close-in line extensions. This freed up the CSM’s to move further outside of existing products and identify new grounds for exploration, through the identification and understanding of consumer segments. By identifying the problems and needs of specific consumers, new product development could take on a much more targeted direction.
Whether simply helping to better organize your desk, keeping constantly accessed information, or better organizing projects, the Project Keeper provided a unique new way to organize. See the Project Keeper in action. The Project Keeper was developed to help organize project-type work, by providing a more organized holder than folders or the need to three-hole punch everything.
Six pockets provide a way to organize information in a simple and efficient way. The included special labels and an erasable marker allow the user to customize and reuse the Keeper for additional projects.
While the Keeper could be paged through like a book, the unique feature is its ability to be cascaded open, revealing the various sections. This feature also provides easy access and visibility of each section. An attached elastic band helps keep everything closed up nicely for transporting but allows quick, easy, and quiet access.
Developed to help contain piles of stuff that we all lug off to meetings, home, into accounts, etc. It was designed to provide the protection of its contents from wear while also allowing easy visibility and access.
Location, location, location… the most valuable office space is the desktop. The Platform was developed to help take the piles vertically and free up more of that precious space. The added benefit was better visibility of all the things that were so important that they were on the desktop to begin with.
We found that many people cascaded files on their desktop, but with so little desktop, there was no easy way to move everything when you needed extra space and those neatly cascaded files ended up in disarray at the slightest bump. Going one step further, an elastic retaining strap was added to allow the user to temporarily hang the Stepper vertically to maintain multiple “desktops.” The included labeling system and erasable marker allow instant customization by the user.
Similar to the Stepper, the Sleeve provided a means to organize various pieces of information in labeled slash pockets. The Sleeve was made so that it could hang for long-term use.
After seeing many consumer desks with overflowing letter trays, we developed a tray that stacked on top of the pile, rather than trying to fit the pile between trays. The Task Trays also featured a reusable labeling system, with open ends, and two walled ends to help contain and straighten when needed.
Finally, an actual place to put all those little adhesive notes, freeing the computer monitor from the frenzy or for use near the phone or other area where there isn’t a monitor to receive those important messages.