Laptop Bay USA: Product Design

Skills:  industrial design, graphic design, e-commerce sales & marketing, manufacturing 

Date: January 2016

Tools: Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop, digital SLR camera, Etsy, Solidworks 3D CAD, Trotec laser cutter 


I developed the tree design after a friend asked me to make her some custom bookends for her textbooks.


Building on prior knowledge  ->  Reading   ->  Established knowledge   ->  Books

Building on prior growth         ->  Growing  ->  Established roots              ->  Trees



Books  ->  Paper  ->  Wood pulp  ->  Wood


Using a tree for the design and wood for the material were natural choices.


Early Prototype:


Product Description

These naturally unique and beautiful bookends are each laser-cut and then hand-finished to ensure perfect press-fit assembly.

Size: the trees stand 9” high on bases measuring 7” x 5.25”.

Materials: Baltic birch wood

User Feedback

I created an Etsy shop to gather feedback from real customers. After the shop had been in operation for two months, the items started selling; 170 people added them to their wish lists, and customer satisfaction was excellent. Based on feedback from customers’ messages and reviews, I learned that visitors to the shop form expectations either by looking at the product images or by reading the product titles and descriptions. Accordingly, I now give a great deal of thought to presenting the product visually and writing the accompanying text in order to ensure that the expectations of both kinds of customers are met and, hopefully, exceeded.

Design Iteration

After shipping a few fully assembled bookends to customers, I realized that I ended up with a lot of extra space in the packaging that I had to fill with air packs and bubble wrap. I therefore adjusted the design with respect to the laser tolerances and came up with a press-fit assembly so that I can ship the product disassembled in a flat box.

Customer Outreach on Instagram

Customer Experience

In order to encourage customer engagement and repeat orders, I created a thank you note. I also wrote simple instructions for assembling the bookends.