"We check pollution levels before recess everyday. Unfortunately, the closest weather station is over 30 miles away." ― Customer Interview with Stonebridge Elementary School
Topics: Internet of Things, Hardware startup, Environment, Health, Data analysis
Roles: Product design (Landing page, iOS app, Webapp, Hardware enclosure and specs) and CEO stuff (project management, pitching, biz dev)
Tools: Zeplin (Sketch plugin), HTML/CSS, Fusion 360, 3d printing
Team: 1 designer, 1 operation, 1 hardware engineer, 4 software engineers, advisors
1. The problem of air quality
As a team, we grew up in some of the world's most polluted cities -- Shanghai, Bangalore, Warsaw, and the Central Valley. We knew people wanted clean air, but we wanted to figure out how to show people how clean their air was.
From a product stand point, my biggest challenge was taking people's conception of clean air, breaking that into physically measurable units for our hardware, and then turning those units back into naturally intuitive indicators of clean air for our users.
2. Architecture and integration
IoT devices become powerful when integrated into a cohesive environment. It was important for me to map out early on how the device interfaces with other home appliances as well as understand what overlaps there are between the readings from our device and the readings from public weather stations.
3. User Interface Design
When creating the visual language, I wanted to keep the graphics organic and the indicators intuitive. Like many weather apps, I went with an animated environmental background. In our case, it gets more grey the more polluted our readings. I'm not a fan of separating each gas into its own chart, so in the future a goal is to plot out the relationship between gases.
4. Prototyping and Testing
For many weeks I carried one of our devices around without ever turning it off. Before demo day we were able to install our devices in a school district to begin collecting feedback and testing our product.