Laptop Bay USA: Product Design

Skills:  Ideation, Product Design, Manufacturing, E-Commerce Sales & Marketing

Date: January 2016

Tools: Solidworks 3D CAD, Trotec Laser Cutter, Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop, Digital SLR, Etsy 


A friend requested custom bookends to hold law school books.

Books -> established knowledge -> reading -> building on prior knowledge

Trees -> established roots -> growing -> building on prior growth

Books -> paper -> wood pulp -> tree

A tree for the design and wood for the material was a natural choice.

Early Prototype:


Product Description

A naturally unique & beautiful bookend. Each one is laser cut and then hand finished to ensure a perfect press-fit assembly.

Size: Tree 9” H, Base is 7” L x 5.25”W

Materials: Baltic Birch Wood

User Feedback

I created an Etsy shop to gather feedback from real customers. After only a couple months of operation, the shop had 12 Sales, 170 Favorites, and excellent customer satisfaction. All sales and favorites are from individuals who found the shop through organic search on Etsy. I received feedback from customers through messages and reviews, and I learned that some people form expectations about the bookends by looking at the product images, while others form expectations by reading the product title & descriptions.  As a result, I now pay closer attention to details when presenting the product visually or in writing, to ensure both these types of customers’ expectations are met and exceeded.

Design Iteration

After shipping a few bookends to customers fully assembled, I realized I was using a lot of air packs and bubble wrap to fill empty shipping space. By adjusting the design for laser tolerances I was able to make a press-fit assembly and ship the bookend disassembled in a flat box.

Customer Experience

I created a thank you note to encourage customer engagement and repeat orders. Also, I wrote simple instructions for bookend assembly.