Speck: HOMe Air Quality Monitor

Team: Stella Zubeck, Alanna Fusaro, Christiana Lackner
Role: Interface/Interaction Design, User Research

 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR AIR QUALITY

Speck is a device that allows the average person to understand and observe trends in their indoor air quality. The device was developed at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute. I worked with a team of interaction and industrial designers to redesign the user interface for Speck. 

After 3 months of research, design, and testing with users, we created Speck's new user interface. After launching with the new design, Speck was featured in NPRCIO & MIT Technology Review.  

THE OLD INTERFACE & FORM FACTOR

Speck measures the density of particulate matter, specifically PM 2.5. The old interface for the device displayed the last hour of air quality in a graph. The only interaction the device's UI allowed for was adjustment of the screen's back light by touching the corner of the screen. 

KEY ISSUES:

Speck device's old UI suffered from three key issues (unearthed during user testing):

  1. Readings were difficult to understand

  2. Capabilities weren't fully understood 

  3. Consumer-friendliness limited by a lack of visual appeal

REDESIGNING SPECK

With those pain points in mind, we began brainstorming different UI concepts for Speck. We were also curious about how much information people needed to find the Speck device useful.

I created mock-ups of different interface concepts for Speck to test with users. 

TESTING REDESIGN CONCEPTS

  We tested our mockups with families in their homes. We conducted 6 in-home testing sessions with families. 

We tested our mockups with families in their homes. We conducted 6 in-home testing sessions with families. 

ITERATION & IDEATION

Based on feedback from our initial testing sessions, we revised our designs and began wireframing a final iteration.

Possible home screens. Opted for 3rd based on positive user/client feedback. 

Home screen + Graph Views (12 hours & last hour)

Demonstrates interaction that enables user to navigate from one screen to another. 


VISUAL SPECIFICATIONS 

Stella and I created the final specs for the interface 


THE NEW UI

Speck, with the redesigned UI. I used a dusty old jacket of mine to test the device...I threw the jacket away after seeing the results.

launch

After 3 months of research, design, and testing with users, we created Speck's new user interface. After launching with the new design, Speck was featured in NPRCIO & MIT Technology Review.