The Western Digital My Book and My Passport hard drives with SmartWare captured a prominent portion of the digital storage market. Compelling and intuitive industrial and interaction design distinguished the company’s offerings, boosting sales in a segment formerly characterized by commoditized products.
Hardware and Software Solution
The My Book and My Passport drives, which leveraged the metaphor of books journals, proved to be a powerful combination for consumers. Combined with Western Digital’s intuitive SmartWare backup software, the hardware and software reassured users that their data was being archived with care.
Subtle references to books suggested the behavior of collecting storage devices just as one would books to protect precious memories and important digital files. Early design research revealed that users often marked drives to remind them of their contents. With users always foremost in mind, Western Digital introduced drives with e-ink label affordances accordingly.
SmartWare provided consumers with an intuitive way to manage storage across one or more devices. Files types were categorized to convey the nature of digital assets and the proportion of drive space devoted for each type of file.