For over five years, Milwaukee Tool has partnered with Tactile to help integrate digital technology into some of their traditionally analog products. In our most recent collaboration, Tactile helped design the next-generation of Milwaukee’s flagship digital levels.
The REDSTICK Digital Level uses Milwaukee’s latest measurement technology, offering accuracy up to three one-hundredths of a degree. Tactile was tasked with rethinking the level as a tool for its users and the specific jobs they’re used. The REDSTICK Digital Level is a winner of a 2020 A’Design Platinum Award, 2019 IDEA Gold Award, 2019 Good Design Award, and 2019 IDA Bronze Award.
Understanding the Users
Before the ideation phase, it was important to understand the needs and advantages for a digital tool in a traditionally analog space. The design team conducted a thorough analysis of the top level and measurement tools and talked with customers to
identify goals, needs, potential pain-points, and opportunities. Through our research and the original design brief, we developed user personas and principles to work and align with throughout the duration of the project.
Milwaukee continues to push innovation and strives to disrupt the industry. Throughout our partnership on various projects, Milwaukee encouraged us to look beyond what is expected and familiar. Together we worked through how a digital level can understand and react to its environment, speak to us, guide us, understand gestures and non-traditional input, and more.
It was a major leap forward in choosing an all-digital system and leaving the traditional spirit vial level behind. However, going from analog to digital came with its own challenges, such as power consumption. Ensuring the new digital levels could keep up with its analog counterpart meant exploring creative solutions to reduce power consumption through input via sensors and gestures.
Prototyping, Testing, and Development
The drive to build disruptive and innovative tools for their customers is at the heart of Milwaukee’s brand. Listening to how they could improve tools for their customers has been important to the success of Milwaukee Tools leading the industry in innovation. Throughout the project we built multiple prototypes at varying fidelities to test and prove out the concept.
We had the opportunity to join Milwaukee on the job site for user testing with the professionals they build tools for. These opportunities allowed for greater insight into the design space and eventually validation of our design. Continued support for Milwaukee throughout development and up on to launch ensured the best quality product reaches the hands of their customers.
A Whole New Level
The new flagship Milwaukee Digital Level brings innovation to reality and a new level of accuracy to customers. Its high resolution, full-color circular display renders a high contrast and visible dynamic readout. Customizable measurement settings allow for faster, more accurate reads in every scenario.
Milwaukee Tool’s digital level brings together the latest tech to create a superior product, featuring accuracy to the three-hundredth of a degree, all-day battery life, and the ruggedness customers have come to know. Innovation like this is what continues to build the Milwaukee brand and foster loyalty and trust in its customers.