A new storefront has opened up near the corner of 126th Street and S. Rangeline Road in Carmel, Ind., and it’s home to Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) new Product Design Studio. The unique space is an immersive, collaborative environment where SEP and its customers and partners will develop software and information systems for businesses.

Director of Innovation Chris Shinkle and Lead Experience Architect Noelle Webster-Milam treated TechPoint to a tour of the new space and explained why it will make a difference in the quality and usability of of new products.

“When we get people into the same room and dive into things, afterwards they say ‘we never really talk like this,’ or ‘we should do this more often,” Shinkle said. “This new SEP Product Design Studio is the answer to that wish for more meaningful collaboration and it will result in better products that people actually use and it facilitates faster development at a lower cost.”

The main common area of the new SEP Product Design Studio looks like a trendy New York City hotel with hanging Edison bulbs, exposed brick wall and a large metal barn door that closes off the kitchenette area.
The primary conference area includes a design stage with wobble stools and “creativity bins” that recess into the light maple wooden wall.

The SEP Product Design Studio provides companies with a space that is designed to work alongside the people who are actually building the product or trying to solve a business problem. The new space will give companies a dedicated place for discovery sessions all the way to testing of the product.

Whether it is helping a race car engine manufacturer design aerodynamic modeling software, developing software for a new generation of tractors, or assisting a medical device company in creating a diabetes management mobile application, the new SEP Product Design Studio will help companies build better products for their customers.

The studio is equipped with technology that includes stations for wearables and mobile device usability testing so companies can see what the end user is naturally doing when using a device. This enables SEP to validate a product as it’s being developed so it can iterate on the outcome very rapidly. This approach to product development reduces the risk of testing delays and the high cost of learning about a problem too late.

Check out the full SEP Product Design Studio tour on Facebook and share your favorite photos.


More from the SEP Design Studio Announcement

“The market is changing. Product design and development is being disrupted by technology advancements and cultural changes,” Chris Shinkle, director of innovation for SEP, said. “We are seeing big companies wanting to be more like startups. They are looking for ways to innovate and move faster. SEP has always provided research, design, development and user experience testing. For the first time, the new studio puts all of that in one place for a cohesive client experience.”

“Design isn’t a ‘make it pretty’ sort of discipline anymore,” Noelle Webster-Milam, lead experience architect for SEP, said. “Design is about intention and understanding the context of the product you’re building. Great design happens when a company is invested in design thinking from the start and is engaged in the investigation, study and understanding of the problem they are really trying to solve,” she added.

SEP started in 1988 by four Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology graduates as a place where engineers love to work and today has grown to more than 100 employee-owners.

“Engineering has always been at our core,” Raman Ohri, president of SEP, said. “Over time, we and the industry at large have realized the importance of building the right product, in addition to building the product right. Our team has developed exceptional capability to help customers determine what to make.”

SEP is a software product and design company that builds products for global, midsize and small companies.

“This space is a physical manifestation of our commitment to this essential work in building great software,” said Ohri. “We are eager to get people in this space and drive innovation.”