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Meme and YOUth

Many of us at Artefact are photography geeks, as you might already know by some of the incubation projects that we’ve decided to pursue. But you might not know about the role that research and consumer insight generation play in the development of these ideas.

Although we use research in many different ways during the design process, in the case of MEME, customer insights allowed us to refine and evaluate design concepts and ultimately, create a beautiful, wearable camera for the younger crowd.

Identifying our audience

When we decided to continue our exploration of the photography landscape, our brainstorming sessions were anchored around some key trends that we knew would drive the future of photography:

Mobile phones are replacing point-and-shoot cameras for casual photography. The iPhone is currently the most used camera on Flickr. Why? It’s because our mobile phones now take very good pictures and are always with us.

E-ink displays are getting more popular in technology products because they are getting cheaper and can display images without using up power.

Considering these and other trends, we began brainstorming ideas in all of the typical places designers do. As we began to come up with some key ideas that really spoke to us, we embarked on additional research to understand what else is happening around casual photography that could help us refine our concepts.

We found evidence that pointed to the youth market, ages 15-24, being shakers and movers with regards to combining fashion, expression, and technology. They’re also quite demanding when it comes to a fast and easy solution to take, edit, and share their photos. And they spend more of their income (7.5%) than any other demographic group on clothing and electronics.

A fashionable wearable

These types of data helped us settle on the idea of a wearable camera that is also a fashion accessory, which could be made with a price point low enough for the younger generation to afford.


More research gave us a sense of the spontaneity in which youth take photos to express themselves and entertain their friends (‘planking’ anyone?). They’re less concerned about pixels and resolution than speed. These types of insights helped us refine and iterate on the creative uses for the wearable camera and develop its social component.

At the end of all of this research and design, during what I refer to as a ‘helix’ approach (research and design occurring in parallel tracks but intersecting iteratively at points along the way), we developed a key concept that we all loved: a wearable, always with you, fashionable camera that expresses who you are to the world- aka, MEME.

Now, what? Let’s see what they think!

We’d created our baby and were spending weeks honing its beauty and craft. We wanted to make sure the crowd we had designed it for actually thought it was a good idea. So we embarked on additional research to evaluate the concept. What did we find? Definitive approval and some new and surprising use cases. Check out the video to see it yourself!