Communicating with Light, Color and Movement
Kickstarting design processes to enhance cross-department communication and create a shared vision for holistically connected home appliances supporting well being at home.
After collaborating with Electrolux in developing and defining a concept narrative for their future smart ecosystem of products (read more about the project here), we were asked to continue our collaboration, this time working on the definition of a coherent User Interface language for their growing range of products.
Principles UI Mockups
To design a visual and interactive framework for the UI of Electrolux digital home ecosystem that would provide consistency and be applicable to a range of products, enabling future developments of appliances. The Block Zero team divided this broad and complex task into two goals:defining a specific, ideal user flow connecting all Electrolux products, and designing UI principles that would best fit in the ideal scenario.
We started by diving into the network of products that Electrolux is planning to bring to the market, in order to fully understand and map their functionalities and connection flow; we then proceeded by comparing the mapped functionalities with desired behavioral and visual qualities as well as key brand expression that Electrolux wants to offer to their customers.
We used the outcome from this first phase to initiate a visual exploration of the interaction currently in development at the intersection of art, computer science and design research, using printed moodboards and sketching scenarios, to help Electrolux visually position themself within this space, as well as getting inspirations on potential future interaction paradigms, beyond the traditional screen UI.
The next step toward our goal was to identify criteria to describe user interactions with the system (using category as length, complexity and urgency of the action), that would be relevant, yet general enough to allow us to define the best user flow for the entire ecosystem of products, regardless of the specific device or situation the user is dealing with.
We then used our learnings from the previous steps to design one visual and interactive language for Electrolux home ecosystem that will seamlessly adapt to different products, device formats and user contexts.
Lastly, we proceeded to translate our vision into tangible examples, by creating realistic 3d rendered animations of our UI applied on Electrolux products, as well as exploring the easing of the animations and fine tuning of the interaction through code sketching and mobile prototypes that we shared with Electrolux management as the groundwork for further physical interactive prototypes.
After the successful kick-off engagement, Electrolux decided to continue the collaboration with Block Zero in distilling core ideas of the workshop into tangible demonstrator narratives, and illustrating different user scenarios as a complex, interactive storyline that will be used as a communication tool for professionals throughout different departments to align R&D efforts.