Cocoon App

By | Design Theory, Inspiration, Interaction Design, Product Design, Research | No Comments

cocoon-1From smart dishwashers to light control apps, CES the past few years has forecasted that home automation will be a huge part of our future. As part of my User Experience studies, I became drawn to the idea of home robotics and apps. I had little experience personally, so I started researching different types of automation hardware and software. It’s fascinating that we can change our home’s features by integrating technology into different aspects of a house. I decided to concept my own home automation app for IOS and the Apple Watch.

There is a lot of great preexisting software that aims to help users improve their home. One great app is called Nest, the “learning thermostat”. Nest App has a clear focus on controlling your home’s temperature. The focus is clear, and the copy and UX is easy. The app uses engaging language and features like add and organize your presets. Another app I researched was Insteon Hub. Insteon Hub had more diversified offerings, like access to sensors, energy monitor systems and lighting presets. Another app that I found interesting was Control4 app. The app is uniquely personalized, you can input how you like your lights, how you prefer to listen to music, watch TV and feelsecure. Control4 gives you a way to control your home, from anywhere. I found this delightful because it feels as though the apps mission is simply to enhance your home. It helped inspire me because home automation ultimately has the power to improve the way you play music, control your pool and spa, cook in your kitchen and find safety in your home.

I started the project by exploring on what excites users about improving their home experience with technology. Is our society feel drawn to invest in home automation’s often expensive technology? Why are some hesitant or uninterested? I studied a few hundred of my friends, coworkers and classmates to gauge if and why people are using home automation technology. I found many people didn’t feel a need, or even think about investing in adding new tech to their home or apartments. While many thought that the idea was good, it wasn’t enough for to make the leap. I also found some people who had invested, but weren’t using the technology habitually.

After researching, I started to develop personas, journey maps and do exercises like card sorting to help me understand what to make of my discoveries. Based on my findings, I ultimately decided to focus on creating an app that humanizes and gamifies the home automation experience. I ended up developing a concept of an app that uses algorithms that learns users’ behaviors and with those algorithms make recommendations to users in an authentic, personal way. For example, it could make recipe recommendations based on refrigerator inventory or develop a playlist based on the music you play while getting ready for you. As well, my second finding the need to humanize the different attributes of the app by having each service and suggestion be guided by a character; the butler for home cleaning, DJ for your speakers and chef for your refrigerator inventory.
cocoon-research

I saw that people had a hard time making a habitout of home automation. By personifying the experience, it was a way for users to better connect with the technology personally. I went to a talk recently by UX Designer Megan Fisher. She talked about how the use of a face makes a huge impact on a user and helps them connect with a product long-term.

There has been a trend in artificial intelligence becoming a part of discovery, and that feeling of connecting with a ‘person’ has become a part of our culture. But by developing unique character sets in complicated or uncommon technology, I believe it would ultimately guide the user. It’s comforting to feel as though you have a team behind you, working with you to build a better home and life.

As well, I noted that many users were drawn to the fantasy-like experiences of home automation that they had seen in the movies. I modeled the app with inspiration from movies like ‘smart home’, and the Jetsons. You can get recommendations and plan in advanced the food, music and home settings for pool parties, movie nights or an evening at home cooking. All personalized and calculated by your team of home experts.

 

  1. https://uxmag.com/articles/home-automation-the-next-frontier-for-ux
  2. http://readwrite.com/2014/05/06/connected-smart-home-how-to-basics-tips/
  3. http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2017/01/17/5-homebuilding-trends-to-watch-for-in-2017-and.html
  4. http://www.cepro.com/article/rich_av_invisible_automation_manhattan_townhouse_savant_lutron

Adobe Max 2016

By | Design Theory, Research | No Comments

I got the opportunity to attend Adobe Max creative conference in downtown San Diego earlier this month. The conference blew me away; I learned an incredible amount about design thinking and came out the conference inspired and motivated.

Walking into the first day, it was amazing to see 10,000 designers from all over the world gathered in one place. It’s hard to even begin, given the amount of remarkable keynote speakers – filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, Airbnb head of global marketing Ariem Anthony, fashion designer Zac Posen.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with p5 presetAdobe Max gave a glimpse into the future of trending design like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, facial recognition and rapid prototyping. There were some major app updates, so I wanted to note a few big ones. Adobe launched Adobe XD, a rapid prototyping tool that seems fantastic for web and interaction designers. I’ve been able to experiment with it this week, and while initially it does seem to have limitations in comparison to more robust tools, it’s tagline “Design at the speed of thought” seems to be accurate. It is very intuitive and has features for UX designers like easy previewing, automatic links across art boards and quick collaboration. As well, since Adobe Max, my team has started to use Creative Cloud libraries. I went to a session “Cutting your time in half with Creative Cloud Services”, and it made me wish I had used libraries sooner to share and keep track of projects. It’s easy to set up libraries (you can see here) and it seems like a habit worth developing.

 

adobe-mediumMe and Irene at Max Gallery

 

I was giddy to personally meet one of my favorite designers, Timothy Goodman at his talk “ The Difference Between Being Cute & Being Creepy Is One Emoji”. Timothy Goodman is fantastic not only for his incredibly unique campaigns like 40 Days of Dating and 12 Days of Kindness. I am more inspired by his ability to showcase his humanity through the content he produces. I am an avid follower of Timothy, not necessary for the beauty of his work, but for the honest, raw and relatable nature of the campaigns he produces. He talks about his flaws, fears and passions in everything from poetry to performance. We all have doubts and misgiving so it’s refreshing to see designers put it at the forefront. The biggest lesson I got out of his talk was that designers don’t need to always create perfect work. Some of the best work comes from work developed outside of a computer. Mostly, his point was to create passion projects. He also encouraged creators, to develop a variety of mediums, utilize collaboration and get in touch with your inner writer. Read More

IQabroad App Update

By | Interaction Design, Thesis | No Comments

I wanted to add an update for my Parson’s Design & Technology thesis, IQabroad. IQabroad, is a web and mobile application I am developing on that helps students find and track information for gaining internship experience abroad. This past year I’ve conducted user testing, mapped out the user experience and developed a prototype. The app was developed to inspire and empower young people to live and work in cities around the world. Last summer in France at designer Zac Posen’s Paris Showroom. I got the opportunity to write an article for USA Today College “Beyond abroad: Tips to successful interning, working overseas” about how students can find work to navigate landing your dream internships in their desired international city. Being interested in app development, I knew I would love an opportunity to take my experience and research, and use it to create a product that would help others find their dream internships.

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I am currently working now on developing a HTML5 website and a mobile app protototype for my final presentation. I prototyped the mobile app using FLINTO. Previously, I have used other apps, and mostly slick to InVision App. InVision App is great and offers many of the same features for non developers. I have to say, while Invision is great, FLINTO is even more intuitive and offers beautiful transitions and easy sharing features.  It’s 4:40am, and I’m still excited to work due to this fun and helpful app.

Tomorrow, I am taking a break from coding and prototyping to go to the book launch of one of my personal heroes, Lauren Berger “The Intern Queen”. I interviewed Lauren in my blog earlier this year. She is launching her book Welcome to the Real World. I was a Campus Ambassador for Lauren’s company InternQueen.com for 4 years, and am thrilled to see her launch yet another New York Times Best Seller. I am particularly excited to read it because it directly applies to my life as I work to be my best professional self as I transition into the working world of Los Angeles. The event will be put on by Dell, and I am very excited to mix with both Intern Queen alumns and professionals in the tech world.

I will continue updating and rolling in pictures! I will be showing my work at Parsons School of Design’s Design and Technology show this Thursday and Friday @ 65 5th Ave. I will be showcase work in user experience research and design. I developed a poster that shows the process of user testing, prototyping, branding and development in the creation of digital products.

CSS Animations

By | Interaction Design, Programming | No Comments

I’ve been looking into code that animates and came across a cool resource I thought I’d share! I haven’t had the chance to test it out but it looks great. The link, created by Dan Eden, offers free open-source code for web animations including: sliding, rotating and flipping images or type. As I start my thesis II class, I am starting to define the goal of my project. I am aiming to combine web animation (which I find exciting and playful) with a needed, robust database that will keep track of users input and shoot out a result. Some of the requirements of my site are: users can create a login, view and save job post, bookmark jobs, as well as a site that can have animated* and tracked step by step pages. Since I’m more familiar with using a CMS for websites and know the advantages when it comes to date, I am looking up using different type of CMSs’ including: WordPress, Drupal and Jumla. Within wordpress I’m considering going a custom Buddypress (social media management platform) since it would track and allow for users. Pretty much, I’ve found each type of site has their advantages, but I’m still in the beginning stages of understanding how to conquer my vision. However, I’m going to continue until I see it work! I’m not sure how much room a CMS will allow for me to code in web animations such as those seen in SlaveryFootprint.org, but I think a CMS is my best bet since my thesis will require keeping track of data. I think as web designers, we often have to prioritize the needs of the site, and figure out what features are most important when starting to choose our methods. Anyways, just wanted a quick update and provide the link to this! I’ll update with how to goes.

Animate CSS

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Fi Inspiration

By | Food for thought, Inspiration | No Comments

This blog is coming to you from the sky! I am currently hundreds of feet above sea level on flight to The City by The Bay: San Francisco. Having lived in San Francisco for a year, I couldn’t be more excited for Mission burritos and Fisherman Warf chowder. Plans for far include: Stanford campus tour, sleepover with friends in San Jose, one night in Haight, adventure Embacardero Market with friends and hit up my absolute favorite restaurants.

Fitting being on a flight, I wanted to share a web design project by  Fi with you that concepts what the future of airline web design.  It’s not only visually inspirational, but seems to clearly showcase the market research and a well thought out user flow. The project executes on many levels that I think that anyone from marketing gurus to digital designers can utilize. This projects attests to the fact that even with a established industry, creative design can add profit and better serve the user. Investing in user-centered, creative design can make a huge difference in brining attention and profit to companies. I learned about FI and many UX tools from my amazingly talented  designer and fellow Parsons student Shem Rajoon (If you haven’t checked out his work you should!)

Design Notes & Lessons from Project:

  • The importance of data-driven research as the basis of visual choices. IU’s approach as first a case-study and second a design project makes them stand out from more visually or conceptually-driven projects
  • When monetizing or adding features be both creative and strategic. For example: Most airlines offer: , FI proposes airlines go beyond the tradition information and ticketing services to act as a one-stop-show resource for travel, weather and bookings.
  • Document the Process show wireframes and thought process

Beyond this project, check out all the Fi projects. They’re my go-to for UX/UI inspiration. Some of my favorites: Sony, Microsoft and Kids Choice Awards

Future of Airline Website Project

 

 

My Interview with Lauren Berger: The Intern Queen

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I’m home in laid-back southern California on winter break. Hard to believe it’s winter break considering it’s been 85 degrees, beach days, road trips and relaxed lifestyle. Pretty different than my hectic bustling (and chilly temperature) living in the Big Apple.

Since I have the opportunity to network while I’m in LA, I’ve been reaching out to connections and researching for my thesis. I had the privilege to score a meeting with one of my greatest role-models, the incredible successful InternQueen.com CEO Lauren Berger. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Lauren in the past as a Intern Queen campus ambassador. I don’t want to give too much away before my I publish my interview, but Lauren had some fantastic advice not only for my thesis, but for professional success and job hunting.lbSome of my favorite tips include:

  • practicing skype with friends before interviews
  • printing out job descriptions to match to your resume
  • narrowing in the a dream list of 10 employers.

I plan on conducting more interviews in the coming weeks of successful career experts, expats and students with experience or a desire to live abroad. If anyone has studied or worked abroad (or has a desire to) I’m gathering contacts for my thesis.