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.

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.



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