As a part of a class called Integrated Product Design, we were assigned a task to design a product that enabled more efficient and satisfying use of a user’s living space. We were a team of 6, all from different backgrounds, each one with special skills. We had to research, design, manufacture, brand and sell a product in 3 months.
We conducted 25 user interviews both remote and in person to better understand how users engage with their space and any challenges they may encounter. I led developing an interview protocol that was structured based on our initial research questions. After our interviews, we utilized affinity mapping to uncover insights and provide a direction heading into our brainstorming and ideation phase.
Users indicated they were living in their space short term, so they purchased items that were easily “movable.”
Since space is limited finding items that are decorative and functional is difficult.
Having items that could adapt to multiple contexts and areas was important.
Our affinity mapping activity helped to get everyone on the same page from a broad problem and uncovered compelling research insights. We held three different brainstorming sessions around our key insights to develop both quality and quantity of ideas. However, after brainstorming two different product concepts emerged. We then conducted concept testing using concept cards on 50 users. We showed users the two cards and collected qualitative data around the two concepts. We analyzed the results and finalized our product direction.
We started cardboard prototyping the light case to design for both a standalone and adhere to wall option. We experimented with different sizes and shapes before settling on an isosceles trapezoid. The shape of the trapezoid provided for stability on a desk and on a wall. Additionally, the versatility of the shape allowed for multiple design configurations.
After deciding on a shape we prototyped different module attachment solutions. We knew the attachment solution needed to be easy to attach and detach while also providing a strong connection.We decided on placing strong magnets in the interior of the light case. This allowed for a strong attachment with little effort from the user.
We presented our low fidelity cardboard prototypes to 5 users to get feedback about our design early. Our usability testing focused on seeing if the magnetic sides were intuitive and interactive. Also, we presented users with two separate adhere to wall options. In our initial concept testing users were concerned that the adhere to wall option could cause potential wall damage and that the bond might not be strong enough. Option 1 was with a versatile stick adhesive pad that could adhere to multiple surfaces without damaging the wall. Option 2 was a magnetic tack that easily adhered to the wall with minimal damage.
Users enjoyed the playful element the magnets provided and loved making different shapes.
Users preferred the sticky adhesive since it could adhere to multiple surfaces included walls and brick.
Once we pieced together a general shape we utilized 3D printing to develop several high-fidelity iterations of the light case. We needed to make sure the lid fit tightly to the base to account for users attaching and re-attaching the device to different surfaces. We also utilized different plastic materials to make sure the lid’s plastic was durable while also being translucent.
Once we finalized the light case design, we shifted our focus towards developing tailored light settings. We reflected back on data gathered during our concept testing to guide this phase. Having the ability to change light intensity and complete tasks at different times of the day were important to users. Below are three key settings that guided our voice UI integration with Google Home.
1) Light intensity
2) Warm to cool lighting
3) Controlling modules together and separate
We moved to user testing with 5 participants initially seeing if they could discover any of the commands after we provided them with a list of generalized settings.
Reduce the number of commands so users do not have to remember too many.
Make the commands more conversation like and less technical.
Our data from user testing help to drive our voice UI design. We simplified the commands themselves by associating certain settings with a color like natural or cool blue instead of having the user say increase intensity by x. Below is a demo showcasing Lyra's integration with Google Home.
We sold our product in a final tradeshow sponsored by Procter and Gamble. It had an online as well as a physical presence. Shown in the next section are links to the product website and our final product video.