A construction worked is shown attaching cream-colored cedar shake siding to a house.

Cedar Siding Research

We assisted American Originals, a newly formed company, with the design and development of their first product -- a new polypropylene injection molded cedar shake and scallop siding product. We were asked to observe and document the installation process of vinyl shake products and to capture the preferences and desires of installers and distributors. Over the course of two weeks, members of our product development team observed workers at installation and distribution sites and interviewed installers and distributors of injection molded shake in North Carolina, Long Island, New York, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul area – regions where vinyl shake is popularly used on home exteriors.

Our research identified design and engineering opportunities, including a patent-pending nail hem and continuous locking system that simplifies installation of each cedar shake panel and enables a seamless transition from one style of shake panel to another. For improved aesthetics and a more natural appearance, the panels incorporate deep shadow-catching wood grains with randomized shake patterns. To better blend with gaps between panels that expand and contract during temperature changes, the widths of the gaps between shakes on each panel are varied. Since its launch, property owners have been pleased with the durable, low-maintenance, and realistic-looking cedar siding product.

Training and Facilitation
Interface Design
Industrial Design
Human Factors
Ethnographic Research
Mechanical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Software Engineering
Full Service Development