Laura Whitby

Class of 1981

Manager of User Experience, Kodak Alaris Personalized Imaging Business

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Biography

Laura Whitby is a designer, design coach, and believer in the power of creative teams. For over thirty years she has worked in design, at Xerox, Kodak and Kodak Alaris developing solutions for projects ranging from copiers, film processors, blood analyzers, printers, digital cameras, and software user interfaces, as an individual contributor and lead designer. Whitby holds over twenty patents from her career in design. One of her more unique design assignments was a blood analyzer designed for use in space by Nasa’s Space Shuttle program. At Kodak she led the digital camera industrial design for seven years when the market for consumer digital cameras was at a peak. For the distinct camera lines she oversaw strategy planning and championed process improvements for the team enabling designer participation in worldwide consumer research and pre-commercialization advanced development. During this time Whitby directed the design team’s successful development work on the Kodak V570. The team won worldwide recognition for this innovative dual lens digital camera including a 2006 IDEA Gold Award. Since 2007 Whitby has led Kodak’s (now Kodak Alaris’) User Experience group for retail photo products and services. With responsibility for design and usability the staff delivers solutions for software application user interfaces and in-store equipment development. This business has an ecosystem of 100,000 retail Kiosks worldwide and other consumer touch-points as with a photo product creation desktop application, a Kodak Moments Facebook application and Kodak Moments mobile applications.

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Kodak V570

The Kodak V570 zoom digital camera is the world’s first dual-lens digital still camera. With proprietary Kodak RETINA Dual Lens technology, the 5 megapixel V570 camera combined an ultrawide angle lens (23 mm) and an optical zoom lens (39-117 mm) into a small, sleek package less than an inch thin. The innovative EasyShare V570 camera’s ultrawide angle lens coupled with its optical zoom lens produces a total 5x optical zoom range, providing more options to help picture takers capture the perfect shot - group photos, scenic landscapes, dramatic portraits, and close-ups. No other consumer digital camera offered such a wide angle of view, nor the unique, sophisticated design of this model, whose all-glass, stacked Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon prism lenses never extend from the camera body.

This harmony of design and features is the story of convergence of inspired, early pre-commercialization work by two separate teams engaged in pushing current state of the art for camera design, and camera engineering, respectively. The genesis of the V570 design was envisioned early in the project research and discovery phase by the Kodak design team. Flush or nearly flush controls defined the overall look of simplicity and prevented accidental button actuation. Protrusions were eliminated or minimized, beyond established camera conventions. The ribbon of chrome wrapping around the center reduced size perception and assisted the assembly and fit of metal front and rear covers. A purist design philosophy inspired everyone involved with the V570.

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Honors & Awards

Awards/Achievements
IDEA Gold, 2006
iF Product Design, 2007
JIDA Design Museum Selection, 2006
Red Dot, 2006
PC WORLD Innovations, 2006

The above awards are a few of an extensive list of awards that were received.