I took a graduate level user-centered design course (HCDE 518) at the University of Washington and was lucky to get a real client with a real product for my course project. SNUPI Technologies was in the early stages of creating Wally Home, a wireless home sensor system that detects water leaks, temperature, and humidity.
I was part of a small team that worked with SNUPI and used user-centered design methods to research, design, and validate some early design concepts for their water leakage hub and sensor installation, home monitoring, and alert app.
We used a variety of user-centered methods to research, design, and validate this project.
With the goal of getting a better understanding of who our target users were, what their motivations were, and how they might use the home sensor system, we completed user research including a survey, user interviews, and a photo survey.
Using the findings from our user research, we created personas to define our primary and secondary users, their goals, and frustrations.
RAPID CONCEPT SKETCHING
With our new personas in mind, early concept sketches were created with the goal of getting a lot of ideas expressed quickly (although not completely).
USER FLOWS AND SCENARIOS
The next step was to outline and detail the information and use cases the users needed in the app, and to create task flows.
Outline of Use Cases
DETAILED CONCEPT SKETCHES
Based on the use cases and information we identified, we started creating detailed concept sketches. These started to look a lot more like the final app and were the basis of our prototypes.
Next we created paper prototypes which were used for usability testing. We tested the primary tasks that a user would complete during sensor installation, and used the feedback to iterate our design.
We then created a nearly full function Axure prototype using the user feedback from the usability tests, and findings from the user research.
Since we had a real product and real client, we summarized all of our findings and designs and presented them to our client. We also created a detailed design specification.