Outcome: Smarthome gateway concept design.
Role: Interaction design / UX / Visual design support.
Team: Associate Creative Director, Industrial designer, Interaction designer, Visual designer.
Target audience: 35 to 60 years old apartment owners with a focus on woman.
The project started with a two day intensive workshop with the client. The team defined technical limitations, the design direction, and the targeted audience. I had previously prepared a handful of archetypes to get a head-start and help steer the conversation. The 5 archetypes that were presented covered different scales of tech savviness, design affinity and brand orientation. Every different combination was matched with two of the 10 most relevant psychological needs. The archetype that was identified as the most fitting to the client's strategy was Eva Sommer: A working lady in her 50s with an average income and a family that is looking for safety and convenience.
An ideation session with all participants in the workshop took place. Similar ideas were grouped together to find the main thought directions. The process helped clarify the general direction and steer away from ideas that were not feasible or appealing.
User interviews were set with friends and family to test the early stage stimuli concepts. The insight was that the gateway needed to be easy to install, for everyone and friendly looking.
A second iteration brought the team to a more concise concept: A starter kit comprised of a smarthome gateway and user friendly controller.
After making a list of sensors and protocols that should be included in the hardware, I designed a user journey, and designated a key interaction for each step. This allowed the project's scope to stay concise and to the point.
I also designed a 5 step onboarding process. For a technology that looks unfriendly and complicated, there’s a great advantage in turning the tedious process of unboxing into a signature experience. I leveraged the Design Language System that was built in a previous project for the same client to accelerate my design process.
The interaction design model I worked on reflected that same simplicity. The intention is to have anyone be able to control home appliances upon first time use. The simple drill down model allows the user to navigate throughout their rooms, scenarios, and devices with the same controller. Users that wish to have several controllers can dedicate one controller for each room, allowing them to access the room's devices faster. The user navigates by swiping or taping the touch screen. The controller screen is also clickable at the top and the bottom. It is used as a switch button to control the devices.
On this project I had the chance to work closely with the industrial designer on the out of box experience. We focused on creating a harmonious experience between unpacking the device and the first time use flow on the mobile app. When the user opens the box the photosensor on the controller detects ambient light and the controller turns on. It then guides the user through the steps they need to complete before they are setup.
The project's duration was 2 weeks.