Spearheading the design and functionality of the app and associated device that allows you to easily and intuitively connect and create a lighting network in a space.
🤔 The Problem
As it stands, installation of any type of lighting arrangement in a variable space is a physical task that may take 2-3 days to install. This does not include programming, training or trouble shooting. Lighting technicians have to install and program every device manually, by pressing a button on the device or having to hardwire them together. An identifiable issue is that the technician may not be able to successfully hand off the project to the facility manager. The facility manager then has to set parameters for each light fixture according to the space utilization. The additional issues here lie within the knowledge-base of the facilities manager. Specifically, they may not have the technical or specifications of design capabilities of these devices.
During my initial research, I interviewed the customer service team to understand who the possible users are and their roles in the installation and maintenance of lighting at a jobsite. With that information, I was able to learn about their general needs and pinpoint the requirements and issues surrounding lighting installation and controls.
Bill has been a lighting technician for 25 years. As a technician, he works closely with the lighting designer to set up and program lighting devices.
Per Bill: "I want to complete the project as soon as possible so I can move on to the next. If there was an app that can set up parameters remotely, that would save me hours, maybe days!"
Bill is looking for convenience and minimization of additional manual labor. If he had the ability to set lighting parameters without the need of extra labor, he would be able to complete projects more timely. The additional resource of being able to hand off the project to a facilities manager with minimal training would be a benefit not only to him but all parties involved.
The current installation process
The following diagram represents the installation of devices (lights, sensors, and switches) at a jobsite. Installation will always be a time consuming process which can take several days to complete. The areas highlighted in grey are the areas that have the most potential to save time. Some of the major pitfalls can be resolved, improved and even avoided through the implementation of a seamless application that both technicians and managers alike can use.
Journey Flow Chart
Once we decided what the most important features and areas to improve productivity for the Lighting Technician and Facility Manager, I created a journey flow chart to give a visual representation of the responsibilities of each user and how they would work through the app.
1st Round of Low Fidelity Prototypes
With a better understanding of the user flowcharts, I drew out some rough sketches to get a better idea of the layout I wanted to create. I later cleaned up the sketches to help communicate layout ideas. These sketches illustrate how to connect to parameters and how to add a new device.
Initial in-house testing was done by the engineer and management team to determine the overall look and feel of the app.
2nd Round Low Fidelity Prototypes
After testing out the first layout, the team felt the layout should be cleaner. I decided to redesign the layout to include recognizable elements like tab bars, buttons and sliders. Since this was designed for an IOS system, I wanted to follow Apple's HIG to help navigate through the app.
Initial Release and Iterations
Getting the design right the first time around is almost impossible. When the app was finally released our users had issues regarding connected and disconnected devices and how to tell the difference between them. To alleviate this issue, I included another section to the device/home page where you can see all the devices paired to the jobsite.
The next addition to the app was to include onboarding screens to inform the user of the app's capabilities and also engage them from the start.
High Fidelity Prototypes
After finalizing the iterations and cleaning up all the initial sketches, a final UI was created. Further in-house testing and prototyping was done. Usability testing was made with the team. When the teams were happy with the latest updates, they were sent to the development team.
🤗Deco Mesh2.0 Release and Feedback
Months after the release of 2.0, more lighting technicians felt comfortable using the app which lead to an increase in projects. The App Store received positive reviews.
Scope of Work
Before creating the app, I worked with different teams to determine the users and identify the problems these users would encounter.
Journey Flow Chart
Based on the research, I designed a layout that helped lighting technicians and facility managers in their installation and maintenance of lighting in a facility.
Alice is a facility manager that has to ensure day to day operations are running seamlessly with minimal effort and involvement. As a facility manager, Alice’s duties require that the facility meets compliance standards and government regulations. Of her core tasks, she manages budgets and implements measures to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the facility that benefit the business.
Per Alice: “If there was an app that can help monitor and report the lighting consumption of the facility...that would help in obtaining energy efficient rebates.”
She often struggles with complicated apps, so not only does she require an app that's easy to use and understand, but also has the same feel of what she's used to. The benefit of controlling lights and setting parameters may be a secondary issue to Alice, but the ability to manage it all through an app would streamline her processes.
"The app is very easy to use. It has a native look to an Apple interface so using the app was an easy transition"
Currently, the app is being used in over 20 new projects nationwide and as the number of projects continue to grow, more features and more iterations will be made to ensure the easiest and most effective way to manage a lighting network.
A design system was made to help guide the development team.