Meet the creative minds behind the Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2, and Gear Fit - PhoneArena

Meet the creative minds behind the Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2, and Gear Fit


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We live in a world where people tend to take smartphones, tablets, and wearable electronics for granted – they just pick a gadget. It isn't that simple on the other side of the product chain, however. Few people realize that designing a new smart device requires tremendous amounts of planning and creativity. A key part of this process involves experts who invest their creative energy into coming up with the next big idea. Samsung, as a respected leader in the tech industry, has gathered its own team of highly creative individuals, and with this post, we'd like to introduce you to three key figures: Daniel Yoon, one of the men behind the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sung Young Min, who took part in the Samsung Gear Fit product planning, and Hans Lee, who helped with the development of the Samsung Gear 2.

Daniel Yoon
Manager in the Global Product Planning Group (Galaxy S5)

Daniel Yoon is a product manager for Samsung's Mobile business where he has been working for almost four years. He joined the Galaxy S5 development process to manage partnerships in the product-planning sector. “One of our greatest challenges as product planners is managing the many variables that emerge during the development process,” Daniel says.

Product planning and development occur concurrently and there are constant feedback and adjustment processes between departments. Collaboration and aligning between teams is very important when discussing design and development.

For the development of the Galaxy S5, Daniel focused on what was important to the users. He thought about what the users considered to be most essential, and rather than adding functions, he went through deductions. He kept on asking himself: ‘Is this function really needed by the users?’

As a product planner, it is a difficult process deciding what existing features should be eliminated for upcoming devices. Daniel and his colleagues were tasked with making smart decisions to ensure the Galaxy S5 was equipped with essential and meaningful features. As a result, the Galaxy S5 came with 30% less pre-loaded apps than the previous device.

He considers smartphones an extension of the human mind. He took on product planning because he wanted to see the bigger picture. He thinks that a product should be somewhere in between human and technology. Daniel adds, “If it is only focused on technology, it is not applicable to people. Samsung’s products are used by many around the world and that it has an enormous impact. The fact that I can help develop products that make people’s lives better is a huge motivation for me.”

Sun Young Min
Manager in the New Business Development Group (Gear Fit)

Sun Young is also a product planner in the New Business Development Group, where he was involved in the planning for Samsung Gear Fit. His responsibilities include planning, developing, and overall consultation for the device. Before he took part in developing Gear Fit, he was involved in product planning for the original Galaxy Note and Note 2. The situation was quite similar – Galaxy Note was a new form factor, different from the previous products. The product planning department puts together all of the agendas (of different departments involved) and organizes when the product will be launched, with what kind of features and what kind of strategies they should adopt.

The recently developed Gear Fit introduced new technology from the inside out. Sun Young and his colleagues researched the market on what kind of functions the users needed and learned that people were greatly interested in wearable devices and considered smart functions important. He thinks ‘selection and concentration’ were especially crucial during this project - only keeping the functions needed by the consumers and boldly removing those considered unnecessary. The battery parts that go inside were new; the UX was also new. In all aspects, he had to step into a new realm where no one had any experience and there were many trials and errors along the way. “I feel inspired when I think that my work contributes to the entire project as a whole. I believe Samsung Electronics’ strength lies in its ‘human resources.’ In here, everyone involved in the project puts forth every ounce of their energy,” Sun Young says.

Hans Lee
Manager in the New Business Development Group (Gear 2)

Hans started as a product planner in 2010 to get involved in Samsung's products from the ground up. Wearable devices are a very challenging category because the concept itself is new – the product planners have to establish the overall process internally, newly define the products and set different standards. Consumer feedback from Galaxy Gear was widely reflected in Samsung Gear 2. Since understanding and consensus of everyone involved in the process is very important in product development, Hans had to present backup data and evidence that clearly proved customer benefit and take discussions from there.

“Our focus has always been about reinterpreting everything from the consumers' point of view, such as how much the consumer would benefit from the product every day, how convenient it would be with the product. It will remain the same in the future as well.” Hans thinks strengthening the standalone functions as well as introducing functions that are easily understood and accepted by customers is most important.

Similar to other product planners, It is an honor and a big motivation for Hans to participate in developing products for the first time that have not previously been thought of or tried by anyone and that are contributing to changing the world. “My heart fills with pride when I get to see people around the world, using the products that were planned by Samsung,” he says.
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