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Dwell Smart Home

Dwell is a suite of hardware and software products that create a smart home ecosystem. Dwell's products are connected, safe, financially efficient and designed to work in unison out of the box. 

I conducted initial user research to validate the business idea. After collecting data, I developed the brand identity, iconography, wireframes, software application, and hardware product suite.

 

ROLE

Creative Director + Product Designer

TECHNIQUES

UI/UX, Research, Industrial Design, 3D Modeling, Branding 

 

 

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DESIGN PHASES

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DISCOVER: HYPOTHESIS

We created a hypothesis to prove out in our primary and secondary research.

Hypothesis

In our market studies and initial user interviews, we observed that smart home devices are often disconnected and have disparate interfaces.

We want to make this experience more intuitive and seamless for millennials who are already accustomed to using technology on a daily basis.

This should lead to the widespread adoption of Dwell products. Our measure of success will be hardware product sales, application active users, and customer satisfaction. We will validate these metrics through quantitative analytics and qualitative product solution user interviews.

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DISCOVER: PRIMARY RESEARCH

We conducted user interviews based on our initial research and hypothesis. We found commonalities among users that helped inform the following stages of product development.

Findings

User interviews revealed common insights. Specifically, consumers prefer a device interface that is intuitive, conversational, and reliable. Users also stated their annoyance at the lack of interoperability between "smart" and "dumb" devices. These users specifically sought out a smart home ecosystem that developed intelligent pattern recognition and required less effort and minimal manual operation. Moreover, they also expressed the preference for tangible financial savings in such a system. We discovered the preference for balance between voice and remote control: users find voice controls preferable for contextual commands but also expressed a desire for remote capabilities (e.g., in preparation for arrival or for security).

Users’ perception highlighted the notion that more devices lead to increased setup complexity, higher risk of failure, and data/privacy concerns. This last point, in particular, was brought up in the context of an artificial intelligence component, which should be helpful and predictive but “not overly intelligent.”

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DEFINE: SECONDARY RESEARCH

Market research helped us index the total addressable market (TAM), understand the competitive landscape, and benchmark feature sets against our planned MVP. We also looked to thought leaders in AI and intelligent systems to learn more about industry trends and best practices.

Secondary Research

Users like to feel that AI/smart tech is serving them but not outsmarting them or predicting their actions. They want to be in full control.

People like helper systems that focus on prevention or safety but want Ai to make them feel unique.

In the age of intelligent systems, data is everything. With the application of data science, every interaction can be designed to feel more relevant and intentional to individual users, while simultaneously being scaled to an unlimited number of users.

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DEFINE: MARKET SEGMENTATION & PERSONA

We segmented our demographics to focus on a core audience. We then filtered the research findings from users combined with our segmentation definition to create a user persona on which to focus the product development.

 

Market Segmentation: 

Millennials | 26 - 35 years old

 

Why do they want a solution?

Technology is a critical part of their lives and as smart devices become more accessible, the barrier to entry lowers. This demographic sees value in “smart” or automated home solutions for financial and security reasons.

What are their additional motivations?

Saving money and time, feeling more secure, feeling like they are on the cutting edge

Are there other market segments with similar interests?

Aging populations | Baby Boomers & Elderly - who could use automated solutions solving for limited mobility

Persona

Name: Jason Holcroft

About: Jason is a 30-year-old business consultant. He enjoys the role technology plays in his life. He is on his phone throughout the day for personal and work purposes and thinks of it as his central, connective hub to the online world. He has a few “smart devices” at home but has a hard time finding true value in them. He is very interested in a connected home and its associated AI to enable predictive features and financial savings.

Behaviors and beliefs:

“Technology is a nice to have but sometimes does not provide real value”

“Conversational interfaces have a lot of potential”

“When I get home I just want to relax, it would be great if smart devices really made things easier”

Goals/needs:

  • Save money
  • Ease of use when operating multiple devices
  • Remote access

Frustrations:

  • Having multiple smart devices lead to data security & privacy threats
  • Tech products are hard to set up & hard to use
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DEFINE: PRODUCT VISION

The vision distills the value proposition into a succinct statement that acts as our “North Star”. The methods and UX may change but we should always remember the product vision.

Vision

Create a smart device ecosystem where hardware and software seamlessly interact to create great user experiences.

Elevator Pitch:

Dwell is a suite of hardware and software products that create a smart home ecosystem. Our products are connected, safe and financially efficient. Dwell's suite is designed to work in unison to create a seamless user experience out of the box. Our initial go-to-market strategy will center around millennials. 

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DEFINE: BRAND IDENTITY & VALUE

Distilling the brand into values allows us to further define and inform the design of the product. This focused statement is the core of the brand identity.

Brand Proposition

Values: Secure, Intelligent, Reliable

Dwell is focused on a holistic connected home. Our goal is to create a seamless user experience across a suite of hardware products and a native software application. Our roll-out plan features connected products that live throughout the house, starting with a smart thermostat, speaker, and lighting, all of which utilize voice and AI to help better serve our customer.

Our name, brand, values, and collateral embody our mission and promise to our customers.

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DESIGN: BRAND ASSETS

The brand takes the colder hues of a traditional tech company and adds some warmth to embody the values of reliability and trust.  As expressed in the user interviews, users didn't want the technology to feel cold or predictive, but intuitive and smart, which is why we chose the color combination we did. The logo also combines these principles, using the trusted and warm symbol of a home, with the intelligent and reliable symbol of a person. 

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DESIGN: FLOWS, WIREFRAMES, UI KIT, UI DESIGN 

We mapped the basic flow, starting with the onboarding sequence, and listed the features wanted on each of the screens. We then wireframed out the hierarchy of content and built out a UI kit to keep the visuals on-brand and consistent. We finally developed screens for the app UI that were wired up in a mobile prototype using Adobe XD for testing. 

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DESIGN: INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

The palette remains consistent in the color, material, and finishes (CMF). The logo is treated in a subtle yet prominent fashion throughout the hardware suite.

Each piece of the product family embodies the values of Dwell. The products are designed to be reliable and have features that are intelligently placed for ease-of-use.

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NEXT STEPS

The next phase includes iterative user testing of the mobile app and market validation of the Dwell brand.