Creating designs that blur the boundaries of digital and physical.

Interactive and innovative projects led us to new approaches.

-99 design studio
4 min readSep 15, 2017

The age we are living in is similar to a spider queen’s masterfully crafted web. Every path leads into many other paths and almost everything is interconnected. Such connection with such blinding speed that all it takes is a hashtag for a simple thing to go global. (Or you know, make it to Reddit for that matter) Weaving this beyond global web, us users keep bringing the world of physical and digital together. As Harward Business Review’s Darrell K. Rigby says: “(these users) can’t comprehend why companies haven’t done the same.”

During the process of creating digital products, many agencies and creatives somewhat tend to keep the digital separated from the physical. This was in a sense to help quicken the development process and to ease overall project management. However, pursuing a similar path often creates a communication gap, which then hinders digital-physical innovations, therefore creating inefficiencies in the customer’s potential user experience. To better sum It up, why limit yourself to digital when you can actually bring your hands together and make designs that connect the two?

Digical? Oh how radical!

When people of Bain coined the term “Digical” back in 2014, they were focusing more on binding businesses and digital worlds together to imply that companies should be adapting to digital. Back then, the world of mobile was almost not in the game and digital presence across brands and projects were building up day by day.

Today, if you are not a part of the digital world, you pretty much don’t exist at all. What we fathom from this concept is to be able to create designs that push physical and digital together. Implementing this to our thinking process helped us widen our horizons and expand our limits. Now that we weren’t fully bound to screen, the amount of creative approaches coming from the team increased significantly.

But what exactly did this mean? Is it digital technology you can wear on your body? Is it virtual, augmented or distorted reality? You name it. From our point of view, it was being able to bring our designs into the physical world and enhance their sense of realness. The case study below will make things clearer.

Putting theory in motion…

One of our clients, Sneaks Up is a popular sneaker store that stands out with its trendy approach and the ability to reach a younger generation. Sneaks Up wanted an interactive design element that would both increase their overall brand image and sales prior to their new flagship store opening. Now just scroll back a bit and take in all the information we’ve been giving about connecting physical and digital.

So our solution had to be somewhat related to the store itself, still carry our signature design and creative elements but most importantly, increase attractiveness and sales. Bear in mind that we wanted this solution to be sustainable so our client would be able to handle things on their own after the deliver the project. After intensive brain storming sessions, we came up with an interactive big screen installation idea. By installing an interactive screen, you could both up the store’s attractiveness and still get to user your talents in design. The installation for Sneaks Up which could also be referred as a mini app, shows live stocks, models, detailed information on items, store and such. On top of that, users can easily browse the model they like and even purchase securely through the unique QR codes generated. During this step, users are directed to their mobile phones since, you know, no one wants to use a big screen to put their details in while others browse the store.

The result? Our clients loved it so much that they now install our screens in each and every one of their stores. The overall customer response has been just the way they asked for and the fashionable brand image was successfully enhanced. Why limit yourself in digital where digical can happen?

See it all in action below:



-99 design studio

-99 design studio is a multi-disciplinary digital agency specialized in creating useful and engaging digital products.