Most of us use just a few cards on a daily basis, barely use cash anymore and store more and more on our mobile phones. Why is it then that we have to carry around that big, clunky, uncomfortable wallet?
It’s no surprise we see people ditching their wallet in favour of simpler alternatives. Sometimes quite radical alternatives like rubber bands or binder clips. Some other times, ones like slim leather wallets.
While the rubber band, the binder clip or even the money clip work well, the end result is far from elegant. And as far as slim wallets are concerned, they’re fundamentally traditional wallets with just less space.
So you either have to go for style or space.
That’s why last week we launched Cardstack. This is a project we had in the pipeline for quite a while now and it’s good to finally show it to the world.
Re-thinking the wallet
When designing Cardstack, the goal was to re-think the wallet and create a product that would allow to effectively carry just the few cards you need everyday without giving up on style or flexibility.
There is no better way to simplify and slim down a wallet than to just get rid of it altogether. So early on, it became very clear that the wallet itself had to disappear and that the cards should simply become the wallet. That’s Cardstack. A simple, yet elegant and stylish, stack of cards.
The back and front aluminum covers, at just 1mm each, take just as much space as a credit card. So no bulk is unnecessarily added. The same goes for the weight: aluminum ensures a robust wallet and keeps the weight incredibly low.
The back and front plates make it easy to slide in or slide out your cards, while preserving the intimacy of your wallet. The silicone band securely holds the cards into place without compromising the aesthetic and the use of silicone ensures the band won’t break or wear off prematurely.
Security also became a concern when designing Cardstack. Thanks to the aluminum plates, Cardstack will block any RFID signal and keep your cards secure.
The result is a modern, slim, lightweight and colourful wallet for our modern lifestyle.
Know who you’re designing for
Even though it’s a simple product in appearance, a lot of thinking and experimentation went into designing the product. One of the biggest takeaway from the design process is “know who you’re designing for”.
For Cardstack, it was fairly easy. I was mainly building it for my own needs and for people looking to radically reduce the size of their wallet. After carrying around for quite some time a wallet consisting of just a broccoli rubber band holding the cards together, I felt like it was the best wallet I ever had. Unfortunately, it was far from elegant.
We’re far from the broccoli rubber band now, but you can still feel where this product is coming from. What the initial inspiration was.
When you get early feedback, it’s easy to get caught into adding this or that. Add a pocket for keys. Add a pocket for coins. Don’t use a rubber band. Use plastic. Use Aluminum. But in the end, does it really make a better product? Will it be appealing to the people I’m designing this product for? Will it be as flexible and versatile? Would I use it?
Saying no is core. Most of the time though, I found out that saying no was more about explaining where the product is coming from and what we’re trying to improve. This gives a sense of context and what the overall vision is. Once people got that, their feedback was much more helpful and in line with the overall vision.
We’re really excited about Cardstack and so far, early customers seem just as excited. I hope you’ll love it as much as we do.