The Evolution of Evolution: Designing an Award-Winning Phone Case

Typography "The Evolution of Evolution: Designing an Award-Winning Phone Case" over a Mous Evolution iPhone case

This is Evolution.

This is our Red Dot Design Award winning phone case which merges ultimate mechanical mounting with unhindered MagSafe® compatibility and Mous-grade protection. Tiny cut-outs in Evolution’s backplate enable it to connect with an iron-clad grip to a world of IntraLock accessories, including our IntraLock bike mount and universal accessory adaptor.

Mous’s phone cases have always been laser-focused on delivering extreme performance, limitless functionality and serious style. With our latest case, we wanted to take this one step further, push ourselves harder and design the next Evolution of phone case.

This is how we did it.

The concept

Evolution began almost two years ago with an idea about how to create the slimmest high-performing hard-locking case on the market. Mous are known for expanding tech’s functionality through our considered ecosystems of modular magnetic phone case accessories and their bespoke connective tech. We decided to take that connection one step further to ensure it could perform in even the most extreme scenarios while still having that magnetic functionality. Not so simple.

Exploded render of Mous Evolution iPhone case

Meanwhile, our Design team was in the process of refining the Mous aesthetic. 

“We wanted to use clever geometry, considered colour and creative finishes to develop a look which was recognisably Mous while retaining our minimalist design ethos,” Tim Kirsch, our Brand Design Lead, says.  

We believe style and substance should go hand in hand, so our engineers and our designers came together to make the most of this opportunity and, in Tim’s words, “make the most Mous case possible.”

 

 

The process

At the core of the Evolution phone case and the IntraLock™ ecosystem of accessories is the mechanical locking mechanism. The process began with our team of engineers coming up with countless ways of creating a mechanism secure enough to withstand some of the most extreme uses we could imagine, while being flat and slim enough to be MagSafe® compatible. They were determined to make sure you could use the case with accessories like wireless chargers and wallets as well as mechanically mounted ones. A huge amount of research and development went into the concept and materials and, after months of testing, they landed on what’s now the IntraLock™ mechanism.

The combination of hinged teeth, seriously strong materials and clever cut-outs ensure IntraLock™ provides an extremely secure connection - it’s been engineered so that if you pull the accessory upwards, the teeth just hold the case even tighter. This makes the ecosystem perfect for mountain biking through rough terrains, content creation from a cliff’s edge or any other crazy scenario you can imagine. Impressive stuff.

Render of Mous IntraLock hard locking mechanism

Once this central piece of engineering was in place, Ting, our Industrial Design Functional Lead, got to work on how the phone case would look. This would be a product for active, rugged lifestyles so it needed an aesthetic to match.

“Normally rugged means bulky… details that are unnecessary,” Ting says, “but we wanted to redefine what ‘rugged’ looks like.”

Ting and Tim, our formidable design duo, worked closely with the engineers to refine the case’s CAD (Computer Aided Design) and ensure it was beautifully formed, perfectly functional and incredibly protective. The designers worked with the parameters of the mechanism to ensure performance wasn’t compromised in favour of design details, and some of their design details deliberately enhanced performance.

 

 

The details

3 annotated images of Mous Evolution iPhone case. "Complete functionality with our MagSafe® compatible magnetic array" "Lined with AiroShock™" technology so your device has ultimate protection" "A slim and flat design means that this case has almost no additional bulk" "Features our mounting technology IntraLock, for a totally secure connection"

One detail which perfectly merges design and engineering is the glossy split line where the TPU bumper meets the rigid polycarbonate backplate. Ting and Tim worked closely with Toby Lane, the Design Engineer leading the project, to develop this feature. It was designed to mimic the look of our Limitless series’ material backplate silhouette and serves as “a nod to the brand heritage”, Tim says, while creating a more seamless design.

This is an important functional element in Evolution’s manufacturing process too. Toby says, “we wanted to engineer the best case we could which would last for as long as possible.” The extra surface area across the materials keeps the TPU and PC more firmly bonded and makes Evolution a longer-lasting, more robust case. That’s some smart design.

 

 

There’s no additional material backplate - Evolution’s backplate is simply polycarbonate. This allows it to be ultra-slim so it adds no extra bulk and is flawlessly MagSafe® compatible. The polycarbonate is textured at precisely 108 degrees to perfectly complement the camera, add extra grip and it can easily be wiped clean. 

Toby says the materials were carefully selected to be “as waterproof as the tech it’s protecting.”

This is what we mean by redefining ruggedness. The team made a phone case in which every design and engineering element - from the ultra-protective AiroShock™ lining, to the beautifully contoured camera bump - enhances your experiences and ensures Evolution is fit for adventure.

Mous Evolution iPhone case at an angle on a dark teal background

Every aspect of the design is carefully considered. Ting says they spent hours transforming the side grips into beautifully rippled ribs at exactly the right angle to help Evolution slide into your hand rather than out. They also worked closely with the engineers to develop the shape of the bumper. The sides are rounded for the most comfortable hold and unimpeded edge-to-edge swiping, while the top and bottom are raised to ensure maximum screen protection. Meanwhile, the polycarbonate insert buttons are just as responsive as your iPhone’s, they provide a satisfying click and they stand out in Mous light teal.

The result of this attention to detail is a case which feels fantastic, performs perfectly and looks incredible.

This is Evolution

Mous was founded when we saw an uninspiring marketplace filled with phone cases which were either protective or beautiful but never both; so we decided to design better. Our Limitless cases proved that you should be able to expect the best from your tech accessories. Evolution was made when we realised we could take that ethos even further.

Every aspect of our design is done in-house, from design engineering to industrial design to brand design. This allows us to take a truly integrated approach to our products and ensure a seamless blend of performance, functionality and style. The Mous team worked together to create a Mous-defining case. 

“Phone cases don’t often win design awards,” Ting points out. They’re so often either just a utility, considered boring, or all style with no substance. “But we’re redefining what quality phone cases are.”

Evolution. What will you become?

Mous Evolution iPhone case on universal accessory adaptor in a city

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