Osmo Stackable Storage

Building a flexible storage system for families

Design Lead

Product, UX, Research, Art Direction

Osmo is a tangible play platform that connects physical objects with the digital world. To play, users need a device, an Osmo base, and sets of game pieces. With 15 games and counting, users unpack and repack our product each time they play. Thus, storage is an integral part of the Osmo experience, and we set out to create a fun, easy, and modular storage solution for the Osmo system.

I led the design process and worked with our industrial designer for every deliverable, including needfinding and qualitative research to prototyping and developing form to final art direction and launch.

Understanding the User Journey

We began the project by trying to better understand the problem space. Anecdotally, we knew that our previous packaging, which doubled as storage, was hard to use, not kid-friendly, and expensive to produce. To get more qualitative and quantitative data, we also did a series of in-person interviews and home visits, and sent out quantitative surveys to learn more about the user journey through unboxing, setup, and storage of the product.

After synthesizing our results, we noticed some common trends involving set up and clean up, usability, and perception:

Usability: Set up and clean up was a big pain point. Our old packaging was difficult for kids to clean quickly and often required parental supervision. In addition, our old packaging wasn’t the most usable - “Your current packaging is beautiful, but not functional at all. When my kids or I drop it, the box bursts open and the tiles go everywhere.”

Perception: Parents noted our old packaging was “too nice,” and they were hesitant to let their kids play Osmo for fear of ruining the white box. We found that parents were unlikely to encourage kids to play Osmo if snacks, juice, or art supplies were around the play space.

We needed to create a durable, kid-appropriate solution that would make set up and clean up faster and easier for both kids and parents alike. 

Prototyping and Testing

We prototyped various ideas - individual fabric bags, all-in-one boxes with removable partitions, stacking drawers, amongst other solutions. In testing our prototypes, we received mixed feedback.

1. All-in-one storage: 

Suitable for families who own multiple games, but isn't a good solution for those who own one game or want to grow their system.

2. Fabric bags: 

Made set up and clean up easier, but some didn’t like how messy the pieces were and preferred more organized storage.

3. Stackable plastic containers:

A modular system that is suitable or families with one game or multiple games, but not efficient for some game pieces that are smaller. 

After several more iterations it became very clear that every family has certain basic requirements of durability, recognizability, ease of use, but every family is different: has different products, different ways of life, and different organizational preferences. Flexibility was the key in solving this design challenge.

Introducing Osmo Stackable Storage

We ultimately designed a stackable packaging and storage system that is fun for kids, delightful for parents, and affirms Osmo as a playful, modern, thoughtful user-first brand.

We addressed the key learnings from our iterations of research, prototyping, and testing. We designed each game container to fit any storage preference, no matter how organized or messy the user’s preference was. We made the system modular so it was great for families who own one game and excellent for families with multiple games. We choose durable PP plastic because of its ability to survive spills, scratches, and drops. We designed each game to have a unique color and sticker with universal frosted lids to allow for quick and easy identification. We also created the system to be all over family-friendly.