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D&AD Annual 2020

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Behind the Work: Beats Tempo

Here, the Firstborn team behind the staff training programme for Beats Tempo, Design Director Jennifer Xin, Executive Producer Andrew Schlanger and Executive Design Director Matt St. Gelais, come together to discuss the project from idea to realisation.

Firstborn was tasked with solving a problem for Apple: how to train retail staff on the new Beats Tempo product before they have access to it physically. The team needed to bring the product to life and educate a global range of users to the level that they could be advocates for the product. To achieve this they developed a platform that could scale and be tailored. “We didn’t do a ton of thinking so to speak; we thought by doing. We got the brief on what the product is and all the key features and we just got to work making prototypes and demos,” Design Director Jennifer Xin explains.

Our north star was to design an experience that was as innovative as the product it was representing

Guided by the quality of the product the team began creating a platform that was as groundbreaking and user friendly as an Apple product. “Our north star was to design an experience that was as innovative as the product it was representing,” says Executive Design Director Matt St. Gelais.

Working for a brand such as Apple meant working from a ‘black site’ in one room, at one table which meant the team could think of an idea and immediately begin to realise it. “It’s a truly collaborative team; this is a true and complete expression of the work we do at Firstborn – it’s ideation all the way to code and what I’m most proud of on a bigger scale too is we created a platform for them,” says St. Gelais.

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