Wacom + Ziba
It’s not often you get to design a product that you know you’ll be using someday, but that’s what we got with Wacom.
For the uninitiated, Wacom makes the world’s best digitizing tablets, beloved by visual and industrial designers, illustrators, and digital artists all over the world. At any moment, there are at least 20 Wacom products sitting on desks and in project rooms at Ziba HQ, and for many years, and many of those products were designed at those very desks.
It’s tempting in this kind of situation to skip the user research and just ask your neighbor what they like, but we always made a point of casting a wide net, bringing in hardcore power-users and casual enthusiasts, asking about their needs, and watching them work. The insights this revealed were pure gold, informing everything from interface layouts to the design language that would eventually shape the entire Wacom line.
It must’ve been the right approach, because over 15 years, our collaboration with Wacom produced hit after hit: Cintiq Pro became the gold standard for professional digital artists, the Bamboo line of slim, entry-level tablets brought in amateur users, and Intuos tablets are ubiquitous among designers, for sketching as well as controlling a wide range of software packages. We should know—we use them too.