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Palette wins UX Design Award Gold at Berlin’s IFA

Congratulations to Palette for taking home the UX Design Award Gold at Berlin’s IFA that took place from September 4 to September 9, 2015. IFA is Europe’s most popular electronics show, attracting a large diversity of international visitors and showcasing 45 product solutions, a lot of tough competition. Although Palette went to Berlin with the goal of being placed within the top ten, they were both humbled and surprised to find that they had won the entire competition and their first major award.

If you don’t know Palette, they are the company now housed in the Velocity Garage who has created a hands-on hardware interface to control your favourite software. Customers have the ability to snap together sliders, dials, and buttons to create a personalized interface for whatever software they happen to be working with and whatever environment they’re working in.

CEO of Palette, Calvin Chu, nominated Palette early on with confidence in their product, but they were up against lots of promising startups. After receiving persistent requests to attend the competition, Palette made the decision they would attend the event, even with the high costs associated.

The day Palette arrived in Berlin was the day Ryan Van Stralen, Palette’s Community and Marketing Lead, was scheduled to make his pitch to the jury. This was perceived as somewhat of a challenge to Palette because, as Ryan explains, they were not a marketing jury: “I had to pitch to a panel of judges that was backed by the organization IDZ, so it was a judging panel made up of experts from leading design firms.” Palette handled the hurdle flawlessly, giving an impressive interactive demo.

This year judges put emphasis on product design and user perspective. Ryan believes their product truly encompasses all that the judges were looking for: “Palette introduces a new mode of controlling software programs, while at the same time bringing back an improved but retro hardware technology. The design is somewhat minimalist and democratized so no special training is needed.” The judges certainly appreciated it. Not to mention, Palette’s technology is also easily customizable, consisting of magnetized connectors so part of the hardware can be disconnected or reconnected later if needed, and can be used in a range of disciplines. Although their main focus at the moment is photography (Palette recently went live with B&H Video and Photography) they will later focus more on video and gaming. The possibilities are endless.

Palette hopes to inspire other entrepreneurs to apply for awards such as the IFA in Berlin. Ryan encourages his fellow Velocitizens, “Apply for awards because as much as we thought we were a small player, we were confident in our solution. Startups have a certain agility that big companies lack. Don’t be afraid to play with, or even against, the big players.”

Currently Palette is taking pre-orders for shipping in November and hopes to start launching with new retailers. Palette’s future goals include hopes to expand their partnerships outside of Adobe and continue with research and development concerning their next modules.

Palette is also competing for another design award at the Lucies in New York. They will be up against some top software companies such as Adobe and their Creative Cloud software. If we’ve learned anything from Palette’s latest win, it’s that competition doesn’t phase them. Good luck Palette and keep up the awesome work!

You can vote for Palette every day in October as your favourite product, as they are also in the running for the UXDA: Public Choice Award.