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IDEO x Kyser


Team: Industrial Designer, Product Designer, Mechanical Engineer, Business Designer  

Project Details: A 15-week  professional project redesign the capo that will launch as the next generation of Kyser Capo. 

Today, Kyser's product portfolio - focused on the Quick Change Capo - fails to capture the full demand in the market. Also, Kyser’s dominant channel — in-store — is both becoming more competitive and declining.

In this environment, How might we capture the excitement of more musicians by reimagining the capo design? 


Kyser's current capo design


Through an iterative process involving various prototypes, we acquired valuable insights into the capo mechanism that excels in terms of effortless clamping, rapid adjustments and shifts, consistent tension maintenance, and impeccable precision.

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Within our audience of consumers, there are important mindsets to acknowledge. Based on our US-based qualitative research, we identified two spectrums. Where is a player in their guitar learning journey?  What are players’ primary capo needs?


After conducting qualitative research, we discovered that users generally fell into three categories based on their behavioral and attitudinal characteristics. These categories represent three distinct mindsets: the Racer, the Social Butterfly, and the Perfectionist.

Racer: Help me grow and transform so I feel encouraged to keep going

Social butterfly: Make me feel safe & comfortable so I can focus on my audience

Perfectionist: Help me grow and transform so I can be more creative & experimental 

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Our qualitative research revealed that ‘primary’ functionality meets most users’ needs, but greater control over tension and faster shifting excite users. Quantitative research confirmed that players with different levels of experience share many of the same priorities, but more experienced players tended to put a greater emphasis on accuracy-focused features like adjustable tension.

Primary - Functional Jobs To Be Done

1 — Consistent tension on strings

2 — Easy & quick to clamp on guitar

3 — Easy & quick to attach to headstock


Secondary - Functional Jobs To Be Done

4 — Easy & quick to shift on fretboard

5 — Easy to adjust to desired tension


For open and close, tension can be set by moving the lever across 5 discrete positions. It clamps onto all the strings of my guitar evenly, it is easy for my hand to press since it works by the lever. It Can easily glide between frets without you having to take the capo off. It also allows you to clamp onto the strings and adjust to the exact pressure you want.


While side faces stay flat, the spine and top surfaces are gently curved. The lever follows the curved spine and comes to a soft round edge for the fingers. The lever gently curves along the body. Subtle graphics indicate 5 tension positions. In addition, the capo is designed for easy and quick attachment to the headstock, providing a secure hold even when it's not being utilized, thus enhancing overall convenience and accessibility during your musical endeavors.


Well-polished metal nicely reflects the stage light environment and it rocks with your music!

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Testing prototypes

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