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- 1201 18th St. Suite 250, Denver, CO 80202

Grand Rapids

- 125 Ottawa Ave NW Suite 270, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Herman Miller

"Furniture with a Human-Centered Approach"

Project Highlights

Modernist furniture retailer meets modern technology.

Herman Miller is a long-time leader in the office and residential furniture space - credited with being influential in the modernist aesthetic movement and creator of icons such as the Eames lounge chair and Aeron office chair. HMI builds furniture for people to experience physically, both for today and well into the future.

The office furniture industry, as a whole, is traditional and physical product-focused, however they are building products for an increasingly connected world. Users of furniture have been trained to expect data and insight when they interact with physical products at home, leaving the question - why not at work?

Meanwhile, those tasked with managing physical assets within a building - facility managers - are also under more pressure than ever to demonstrate value and return on product investment. Facility managers want to know not only what they have - but how is what they have being used.

These factors created the perfect storm of need and desire for Herman Miller to invest in the creation of a smart line of products - starting with a desk. The task was to create something that provides value to the end user - the “consumer” - as well as help facility managers articulate how their investment is being utilized.

Universal Mind partnered with Herman Miller with the lofty goal of building a digital experience for both user types - that provides value without being “noise” in already connected ecosystem. While the humble beginnings of “we need an app” is how the conversation got started, the result - launching at Neocon 2017 - is much deeper.

The most tactical project was building the app - both native iOS and Android - from concept to deployment based on Herman Miller’s ergonomic expertise and product wisdom as well as what users would find valuable. Integrating HMI’s vast understanding of work styles and targeting activity levels - we were able to deliver an experience that guides users to a better balance between sitting and standing throughout a day.

Additionally, Universal Mind help craft the vision for helping facility managers consume data in a meaningful way. Dashboards help a FM to grasp what’s going on with the investment - both at a utilization level, as well as understanding the wellness that users are experiencing.


Universal Mind and Herman Miller will continue to collaborate on future versions of both applications - as well as further develop the holistic customer and user experience - from initial online discovery of the product to installation.

While the office furniture industry has been labeled as old-fashioned, Herman Miller at least, with the help of UM, has begun blending beautiful, iconic physical products with modern, integrated digital solutions.