About Worrell Design <br />
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About Us

OUR APPROACH to product development

Though each project offers unique challenges, there is a well-trodden path to developing industry-changing products. Our process starts with a definition of the client’s goals. With your needs in mind, we investigate those of your users. Prototyping allows us to rigorously test leading design solutions, where once validated, are prepared for large-scale manufacturing.

Worrell Product Development Process: Discovery

We learn the needs of the internal stakeholders first; each project begins with a transfer of knowledge between the client and the core design teams.

After that, we begin to investigate the needs of the user by gaining empathy through interviews, ethnographies and field research. At the same time, our development teams investigate the feasibility of the preliminary designs to ensure that a product vision is achievable.

Worrell Product Development Process: Define

Documentation of user-needs allows us to define early stage design requirements and engineering specifications. With these parameters in place, our design teams are free to explore various concepts, while having a target in place that can be measured against as a design begins to take shape

Worrell Product Development Process: Design

Early concepts explore various design opportunities before a commitment is made to a single direction; these occur in the form of illustrations, wireframes and form models.

The designer will produce concepts with varying novelty – from designs that are familiar to ones that breach the boundaries of the current market offering. In either case, the creative solutions offered solve problems, while providing the user with unexpected delights.

Worrell Design Product Development: Development

Product concepts are refined through multiple iterations of prototyping, leveraging the area’s most sophisticated prototyping facility. Partially-to-fully functional prototypes are used to validate functionality, design aesthetics, human factors usability and assembly.

Once a final design has been selected, Worrell’s engineers will model sub-assemblies, layout sub-components and document all parts and the quantities of each needed to manufacture the proposed design.

Worrell Product Development Process: Verify

Every aspect of your new product – the enclosure, a graphic user interface, the package and/or any related labeling or instructions – are measured against the previously agreed upon product requirements and specifications.

At the same time, testing is completed and documentation is prepared to prove to any relevant regulating bodies that your product meets or exceeds standards for safety and efficacy.

Worrell Product Development Process: Validate

Worrell engineers manage the development of bridge tooling and initial sampling of mechanical components and assemblies. We also provide recommendations for contract manufactures and will solicit quotes based on approved part designs.

Our engineers provide ongoing design support for any changes required by a First Article Inspection, which ensures a smooth handoff to manufacturing, while increasing the likelihood of regulatory and market acceptance.


1970s: Bob Worrell in the early days of Worrell Design

Just two years after designing the still unchanged Bobcat logo, Bob Worrell launched Worrell Design in 1976 with his wife Judy. The young firm reached international acclaim by 1979, after helping to establish Kroy Lettering System’s brand as the market leader in the presentation business. Worrell’s design work won several awards during this period, including the International Design Excellence Award.

1980s: Product design and development for Kroy, IDEA Industrial Design Award, Bob Worrell noted in TIME Magazine

Recognition from awards continued to bring Worrell national exposure. In 1985, the firm won Time Magazine’s most prestigious top 10 designs award, and Bob Worrell received his first IDEA gold award for consumer product design. To accommodate growth, Worrell moved its headquarters to the river market in downtown Minneapolis. In 1987, the firm purchased its first milling machine, officially adding prototyping to its list of in-house capabilities.

1990s: Worrell develops CENSYS®, moves from Eden Prairie, MN and works on the successful launch of VideoLabs.

Worrell continued to grow its list of prestigious clients. The decision to add an engineering team prompted another move in 1991, this time to a much larger space in Eden Prairie. To better understand client product needs, Worrell developed CENSYS®, a proprietary predictive modeler and quantitative research tool. In 1994, Worrell worked with startup VideoLabs to design a wildly successful new videoconference system which was unveiled at the first MacWorld conference. For the second year in a row, Judy Worrell is recognized in ​Who’s Who of American Women for her leadership and contribution to the company’s growth.

During the 2000s, Worrell grew by 65 people spanning three countries. In 2004, the medical device industry named Bob Worrell as one of the 100 most notable people. In 2007, Kai Worrell opened the first international office in Shanghai, China and led the acquisition of Gad Shanan Design of Montreal. In addition to a global expansion, Worrell moved into a 30,000 square foot warehouse located in the Arts District in Northeast Minneapolis.

2010s: Worrell continues to grow and launches 3D IM - a way to rapidly prototype design concepts.

In 2010, Kai Worrell was appointed as President and CEO. The following year, the firm celebrated its 35th anniversary alongside founders Bob and Judy Worrell. In 2012, the firm appointed Pete Madson as Vice President of Worrell Shanghai. A year later, Serge Dubeau is made VP of Design and Human Factors Engineering. Most recently, Worrell announced its collaboration with Stratasys to accelerate medical device development through the use of 3D printed injection molding, enabling Worrell to put injection molded prototypes in the hands of users faster and for a fraction of the cost.

OUR SPACE fosters creativity and collaboration

The first thing you will notice about our Minneapolis headquarters is its beauty. Its high ceilings, natural light and modern textures give our employees and clients a sense of inspiration for pursuing only the most aesthetic designs. But as you engage with the environment, you’ll become aware of the ingenuity packed into every corner. This delicate balance of form and function is the common thread that is woven into everything we do.

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