User-focused design translates product inefficiencies into an improved market share and a new product category for Staples.

With a growing consumer need and fiercely competitive market for identity theft protection, Staples partnered with Radius to reimagine and differentiate its document shredding product for the home/home office.

Staples, the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer, sought to regain category leadership, tasking Radius to develop a design solution that offered a powerful, aesthetically appealing countertop solution that would regain brand presence and market share in a crowded, derivative product category.

Rapid iterations of features, visual concepts, and interaction points combined with user input ensured a solution that would resonate with consumers. Completed in only eight weeks, the timeframe exceeded expectations and enabled accelerated sales and market share gain.


Thinking Outside the Office

Ethnographic research, including 15 on-location observation and interview sessions with users, revealed the kitchen to be a primary shredding location; the place where users most often sorted and opened mail. Shredder storage, however, was revealed to take place elsewhere, owing to aesthetic and space. As a result, large piles of documents to-be-shred accumulated over time, increasing any product’s potential for the paper jams that occur due to over-stuffing the shredder feed. With user-insight of this and other clear product inefficiencies like workflow and unmet needs, Radius designers uncovered clear opportunities to improve the relationship between the collecting and shredding of mail in the kitchen. 


A New Product Category is Born

Usage and storage of a shredder in the kitchen, a high-profile, high-traffic room, brought with it serious design challenges. Radius set about to create a shredder as practical as it was visually appealing, taking into account user insights surrounding the ergonomics of shredding documents and safety when emptying shredding bins.


Designers explored a range of countertop solutions combining aesthetic form with a new level of workflow optimization and ergonomic function.The result is a product unique to its category: the Staples Mail Mate, a compact shredder powerful enough to turn unopened junk mail into confetti. Mail Mate’s innovative design brings together an amalgam of convenient features, such as easy emptying, with ferocious power for an unparalleled shredding experience that works and stores beautifully wherever it’s used, as comfortable in the kitchen as it is in the office.

Innovation. Made Possible. Made Better.

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