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Tera

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RESEARCH INSIGHTS + DESIGN INTERACTION

Visualizing unnoticed energy consumption in everyday Homes

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OVERVIEW

Visualize unnoticed patterns

A generated case study that demonstrates how research and design exploration can anticipate and produce an experience based on where current trends are pointing to. An in-home visualization to inform the home’s energy usage, paired with an app that allows users to track, control, and be notified about their energy usage.

Deliverable

A visionary solution using digital trends

Setting

Team of 5, consisting of UX 

Time

3 Months

Role

UI, UX Research
UX Writing

The Problem Space

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My Role

My role covered facilitation in the design process by defining the plan, providing research efforts, and the UI prototype deliverables using Figma to present 8+ user experience wireframes.

Results

A home energy management mobile app that is accessible, adaptable, and data-driven.

The UX Design Process

Immersion 

- Signals

- Domain Framing

Research

- Observations

- Insights

Concept

- Opportunities

- Journey Map

Prototype

- Wireframing

- Figma

Signals & Domains

Hunt for Signals: Emergent Technologies, Precedents, User Needs, Market Trends, and other Takeaways such as those from SME interviews

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Research

We conducted observational research + Intercept Interviews with 6 households for our qualitative research studies. Focusing our understanding across the following approaches:

 


Collaboration style. This follows how we use and learn tools together, support handoffs, and share responsibilities.

Product approach. This represents either technical or visual focused product experiences of the product.

User experience. This speaks to the value of user experience and branding to the end product. 

Aiming to align user tasks, goals, and expectations. Enabling a broader customer-centric conversation. Ultimately, uncovering three themes and insights.
 

Key Insights

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Invisibility in modern technology is designed to enable ongoing use of energy and remain unnoticed in everyday homes.

Lights in common rooms are more likely to be left on unattended because light usage is linked with a person’s intent to return to it.

There is a lack of information given on monthly electricity bills, causing confusion around household energy usage. 

How can we visualize unnoticed energy consumption in everyday homes?

How can we help homeowners minimize their energy consumption while also taking into account their patterns, preferences, and needs?

How can we make homeowners more aware of how their energy consumption impact’s their monthly energy bill?

Concept

An in-home visualization to inform the home’s energy usage, paired with an app that allows users to track, control, and be notified about their energy usage.

Most voted for

A dashboard for multiple devices that outlines your home and the usage per room - ability to make changes through the dashboard

Notification system/ reporting via message or voice message at certain hours of the day

A toggle feature on an app “vacation mode” that leaves the most efficient light on in the house at the dimmest setting

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Prototype

Building on access controls, we provide additional value by displaying data on widgets 

The notification and widgets are touchpoints to bring visibility back into unnoticed energy use and personification of the home’s energy that users can communicate with.

 

Tera advises the straighter was left on and that they disabled it. Rather than requesting an action from the user, prompts build trust with Tera as an assistant.

Drawing on our conversations with the team, we reimagined the homescreen as bubbles, each dedicated to a room in the user's house, such as the living room or office. One tap interaction allows to quickly review energy based on the day and statistics in the room.

Naturally, we needed a custom bubble feature every room:

Apart from the effective use, the simplicity of the interactive product was crucial. Analyzing the overview, we were able to identify the persona's biggest pain points and streamline the flow for the best steps to take forward.

We designed a simple yet powerful energy control UI for non-essential with a toggle feature, Dark mode to try:
 

Automatically adapt Tera to turn non-essential energy use conditions to appear consistent in reports, leaving the most efficient light on in the house at the dimmest setting.

 

Affordance was taken into consideration to hint at how users may interact with the app, with minimal buttons and touchpoints with access to additional settings.

Design System

The app requires up to 30 screens covering user onboarding, Wi-fi setup, support and wearable features to connect. 

To maintain consistency and ensure efficient design, I developed a design system based on reusable components and their states, such as cards, list items, and controls. 

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Results

Embedded QR code to encourage scan and engagement with the Prototype.

This application is viewable on smartphones to get an idea of the persona's home energy consumption. The prototype suggests the integration of smart outlets to track energy, enabling control over power settings at the tip of your fingers.

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