HomeE-commerce5 Design Ideas That Helped This Model Develop—And Save Lives (2024)

5 Design Ideas That Helped This Model Develop—And Save Lives (2024)


Thousand founder Gloria Hwang by no means used to put on a helmet whereas commuting on her bike. She thought they appeared slightly goofy—and too “I’m a critical biker”—for driving to work.

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However when a buddy died in a motorbike accident, Gloria determined she may design a greater helmet. “If you may make a helmet folks really wish to put on, you may assist save lives,” she says.

That philosophy has at all times been on the coronary heart of Gloria’s firm. Even the title—Thousand—is a reference to the corporate’s mission to avoid wasting 1,000 lives of individuals on wheels.

Thousand surpassed that milestone final yr. The corporate has a lifetime alternative coverage, the place it is going to ship clients a brand new helmet without cost if theirs is broken in an accident. Thousand despatched out its 1,000th alternative beneath the coverage final yr. “It was a extremely particular second within the firm, simply understanding that each day, we’re reaching our mission,” Gloria says.

To take action, Gloria knew she wanted to design helmets extra folks would put on. Forward she shares design ideas that helped her develop Thousand. 



5 design ideas to information your model

Gloria wearing a Thousand helmet in front of a bridge
Gloria says she stopped driving a motorbike for some time after her buddy’s accident as a result of she couldn’t discover a helmet she appreciated—and he or she didn’t really feel secure with out one. Thousand

To promote sufficient helmets to achieve the 1,000 alternative purpose, Thousand needed to develop the marketplace for helmets. “It’s not simply to ask people who find themselves presently carrying helmets,” Gloria says. “The purpose is, on the finish of the day, are you able to get folks to put on helmets for the primary time.”

Right here’s how she went about designing helmets for brand spanking new customers.

1. Don’t sacrifice type for security

Gloria discovered that leisure bikers didn’t essentially need all of the bells and whistles of different helmets in the marketplace. Above all, they need one thing that was practical and secure.

Gloria labored with an industrial designer to create a helmet that met security requirements however leaned right into a extra minimalist and retro-inspired design. “There’s a solution to elevate type so that you’re proud to put on the merchandise,” Gloria says.

2. Give clients the chance to personalize

Gloria says clients began choosing Thousand helmets over different manufacturers as a result of the merchandise higher match their persona. The corporate leaned into this by providing extra customization choices like colours and monograms. “It’s all centered round this concept of, “How can merchandise assist you to categorical your private type?’” Gloria says.

3. Construct in comfort

One other ache level for a lot of helmet wearers is that they must lug it round. There’s typically not a secure solution to depart a motorbike helmet with the bike. 

That’s why Thousand patented the PopLock. It’s a function constructed into the helmet that provides riders a solution to connect the helmet to a motorbike lock. Plus, if the helmet ever does get stolen, Thousand will change it without cost.

4. Make your merchandise inclusive

A man and woman wearing Thousand helmets talking with their bikes outside<
A slight majority of Thousand’s clients are ladies, despite the fact that most bike riders within the US are males. Thousand

A part of increasing the marketplace for helmets was designing a product that will attraction to everybody. 

Gloria says Thousand has deliberately created extra inclusive merchandise—and never simply by providing a wider vary of colours. She says most small bike helmets don’t really match ladies as a result of they weren’t designed for them. “Our dimension vary actually takes into consideration completely different head shapes and genders,” Gloria says. 

5. Iterate, iterate, iterate

Gloria says it’s vital for founders to be the advocate for his or her clients, particularly when working with producers. Even when a design could also be extra arduous or sophisticated for a producer, it is going to pay to push for the options you actually need. 

Thousand typically goes by means of many iterations to seek out only one piece of their product. “We’ll pattern 10 completely different variations of an identical coloration to decide on the ultimate one we wish,” Gloria says.

Nonetheless, the ultimate model could change once more after buyer suggestions. For instance, Thousand’s standard Heritage helmet is on its second model.

After discovering success designing helmets, Thousand is planning to make use of the identical design ideas to place its personal spin on different bike and journey equipment.

To study extra about how Thousand used design to make security merchandise extra approachable, take heed to Gloria’s full interview on Shopify Masters.



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