The Red Dot Awards are the world championships of the design world. For Konftel Ego, winning a medal at the world championships is proof that the design team is on the right track in terms of both external design and functionality. “The design process has been characterised by how Konftel Ego is more of a personal product than our earlier conference phones,” says Torbjörn Karlsson, Product Manager at Konftel.

“We wanted to create a speaker phone that the user loves at first sight, and which is suitable for personal conferencing, in line with the mobility trend. I see the Red Dot award as confirmation of our success.” Take a look behind the scenes of the design process for a product that has been nominated as one of the best in the world.

“Design has become more and more important,” says Torbjörn Karlsson, Product Manager. “Today, we can admit that when we started Konftel at the end of the 1980s, design was often seen as more of a cost than a product advantage, but today it’s a prioritized investment. The design of a personal product like this one is absolutely crucial. There is also a trend to be more and more mobile, which we’re naturally also addressing with Konftel Ego. It must be easy to pack in your bag or briefcase, next to your computer or iPad.”

Umeå Institute of Design
Konftel Ego is designed by the industrial design agency Struktur Design, with an office no more than five minutes’ walk from Konftel’s head office in Umeå, Sweden. It is no coincidence that one of the world’s best industrial design agencies is located in Umeå, because another five minutes’ walk will take you to the Umeå Institute of Design  – which, year after year, has been ranked as one of the world’s leading design schools. Struktur Design’s origins lie in the Umeå Institute of Design and all of their designers studied at this prominent college, with many close ties between college and agency.


Three guidelines for design
“We worked according to three guidelines,” says Tord Berggren, who headed the design work at Struktur together with Magnus Melkersson. “Based on the technical specifications, we wished to create a product that would be cool to own, and also simple to use. Despite its small size, it was also to have the ‘Konftel look’.” The Konftel look is most clearly apparent from the triangular shape which characterizes all of Konftel’s phones – a sphere with broken edges that can blend in with the design of any office. Yet the shape is based on more than design, since it also ensures the ultimate positions for speakers and microphones, to safeguard the Konftel hallmark of exceptional acoustic quality.

Besides attractive Scandinavian design and superb usability, a Konftel Ego must work just as well in a New York airport lounge between two flights as in an open-plan office in China, or a two-man tent in Norway. This makes high demands of both the external design and the development of usability.

“The global perspective is always a challenge,” Torbjörn Karlsson explains. “Globalisation may have brought different parts of the world closer together, but we still have very different cultural preferences, both for how we use the products and which design we rank highest.”

At any rate, the 41 selected experts in the Red Dot jury gave Konftel Ego a very high world ranking in the communications category. We also know that Konftel Ego competed with 5,200 products from 57 countries and brought home a much-coveted Red Dot Award as one of the best in the world.

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Customers very enthusiastic
“The coolest thing about the Konftel Ego design process is probably still how enthusiastically it has been received by everyone that has tried it out.” Despite its small dimensions of 14.5 x 13.5 centimetres, a Konftel Ego user can communicate with anyone in the world, with crystal-clear sound, just by pushing a few buttons. Being named as one of the best in the world is an extra accolade for the design, but in the final analysis, the customer’s experience is what counts the most.

Now we’re looking forward to hearing what you think about Konftel Ego’s sound, design and UX-design. Read more about Konftel Ego here and pre-order one for yourself; pre-sales begin in August.