Valve is entering the computer hardware space - destructoid
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Valve is entering the computer hardware space

4:00 PM on 09.03.2012

Jordan Devore

Managing Editor

Frustrated by the lack of innovation

On its job postings page, Valve is looking to bring on an industrial designer. The description for this position says that the company is "hoping to add your expertise in product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, and surfacing to our team."

Things get exciting, quick. "Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked."

To me, this doesn't sound like the so-called "Steam Box," but rather something to do with peripherals. While I have visions of virtual reality, wearable computers, and the like in my head, I think that stuff is probably further out for consumers. Any theories as to what this could be?

Valve 'frustrated by lack of innovation' in PC hardware, 'jumping in' [CVG]

The full listing for posterity:

Industrial Designer

As an Industrial Designer at Valve, you will join a world-class group of electrical, mechanical, software engineers and designers who are busily defining new entertainment experiences through both hardware and software. We’re hoping to add your expertise in product design and manufacturing, ergonomics, usability, aesthetics, and surfacing to our team.

Valve is an entertainment and technology company driven to design and deliver rewarding experiences to customers. We hire generalists who also exhibit deep expertise. Designers at Valve contribute in a wide variety of ways: We define and articulate goals, we design and ship products, we create and implement user studies, we write press releases and blog posts, we manage projects, and much more. We also recruit designers. People like you.

Valve is traditionally a software company. Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We’re frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we’re jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There’s a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.

At Valve, our design process really gets going once products are in customers’ hands. Our best work is the result of an ongoing dialog with customers. Through years of shipping software as a service through Steam, our digital distribution platform, this has become fundamental to the way we create great products. With an engaged community of millions of users, what will you ship? What will you try, and what will you learn through doing so?

Do you prefer to define the work that you pursue, rather than simply following a vision that’s been set for you? If you’re seeking an opportunity to steer product definition, functional exploration and design decision-making, consider joining Valve. We can’t wait to see where you’ll take us.

Requirements:
  • BS/BA/BFA degree (or equivalent) in industrial design (or equivalent)
  • 6+ years of professional experience shipping world-class, high-tech hardware products
  • A thorough understanding of product design principles
  • Highly effective multidisciplinary collaboration skills
  • Personal commitment to quality, attention to detail
  • Confidence with 2D and 3D design visualization tools
  • Effective, articulate design communication and decision-making skills

Please include with your application an online portfolio of work which conveys your capabilities.

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