Iomega Zip drive and disk

In the mid 1990's Iomega asked Fitch to research the market for removable storage. The results of that research were that consumers found the subject boring and frustrating. They were baffled by specifications, and bored by the mysterious and uniformly anonymous beige boxes that were currently shipping. The Zip drive was designed as a response to this research: to be accessible, friendly, easy to use and immediately recognizable. It was anything but boring, a little blue box in a sea of beige. The drive had a window, so users could easily see if a disk was in the device, a ledge to help with lead in for the disk, a large recess for fingers to grab the disk and a slot on the side that prevented the power plug from being easily pulled out.

The disk was designed to be just as accessible. Unlike existing square floppy disks it was clear from the design what the front and back were, and could only be inserted right way up as it was keyed to the opening in the drive. Additionally it did not flex like a conventional floppy, and had some weight to it, making it feel like a more secure place to store your stuff.

In late 1994, the Zip drive was released and became the fastest selling consumer device since the video recorder. The drive and disk revolutionized the market, becoming the industry standard for removable storage and turning the company around. In time hundreds of millions of disks and drives were sold before the technology was eclipsed by first optical media and then flash drives.

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Project completed while working at Fitch Inc.

Project completed while working at Fitch Inc.