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north star

North StAR integrates the functionality of ski goggles with the power of augmented reality to provide snowboarders and skiers with a new, immersive experiences on the slopes. With North StAR, you can communicate with your friends gloves-on, gamify your skiing experience with friends, take lessons from an avatar guide, navigate the mountain’s slope and more.

DURATION

10 weeks, Jan 2021 - Mar 2022

TEAM

Joanne Chen, Joyce Lin, Meron Solomon, Madison Stemmler, Lin Zhu

CONTRIBUTION

Research, Ideation, Wireframing, User interface, Design system, Hi-Fi prototype, Video editing

design challenge

How might we create a hassle-free experience for snow sports enthusiasts to better connect people and improve safety on the slopes?

contextual inquiry

To start, my team was interested in the topic of location tracking, specifically for items. We started by doing competitive analysis to identify the current competition, focusing on the strength and weakness. Through the research, we were able to gain strategic insights into the features, functions, and flows designed by other tracking devices app and identify an underserved market as our target user.

EXISTING SOLUTIONS

Strengths

Each use sound and directions to help users locate items. Users can keep track of several items. The option to share item location with friends and family.

Weaknesses

Limited options for locating items (ring sound and map directions). Broad navigation directions that exclude low vision users. Fail to provide users with the exact location of their items.

DESIGN PRINCIPLES

Adaptable

The solution is aware of the variety of users that uses the product. Provide multiple methods of interaction for potential mismatches. 

Assistive

Provide anticipatory alerts, notifications, and updates on items that are at risk of being lost. Present tools and methods for the user to resolve issue at hand that are non-invasive and easily achievable.  


Convenient

The product seamlessly fits into the routines and lifestyles of our users. It easily provides ways to ease the anxiety and stress that arises when items are misplaced or lose their items.

interview insights

To better understand and gain empathy for our target group, we proceeded in conducting interviews with general and low vision users to gain insight into the daily struggles of locating lost items, their current method of finding the object, and more.

personas

After gaining insights from our participants, we created personas to make sure we are creating the product with the specific users in mind while considering the others that might be excluded.

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Primary

Jo, 21 year-old, college student

+ Jo is a college student with low-vision who loses everyday items regularly.

+ Needs an accessible way to quickly pinpoint where she misplaced items in both at home and in public spaces.

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Secondary

Susan, 65 year-old, retired

+ Due to her age, Susan is forgetful and has low-vision.

 

+ Needs assistance with locating and notifying her of misplaced items on a daily basis.

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Secondary

Cam, 35 year-old, working mom

+ Working mom with multiple daily responsibilities & often is looking for misplaced items.

+ Needs a streamlined process for locating her child’s belongings and remembering items before leaving the house.

initial design

Next, we started to create user flows to define the features that would be included in our app and also build out the main flows of activating a new tracker, locating an item with the camera, and housemate notification. 

usability testing

With the built-out wireframes, we conducted the first round of usability testing with multiple users to reveal areas of confusion and uncover opportunities to improve the overall user experience. We gained some key insights through it and made design changes based on the experience our participants had.

KEY INSIGHTS

(Audio) navigation needs to be more accessible for low vision and spectrum of usable eyesight.

Directions displayed must be dynamic and relative to the position of the user at all times.

Sending alerts about lost objects must be flexible and consider a variety of exceptions and alternative use cases.

Optimizing UX for the linearity of voiceover, and not just for UI.

DESIGN CHANGES

Included haptic and audio feedback to support navigation.


Added a compass to support visual navigation.

Included the option to set reminders for specific items and alerts for forgotten items in public spaces.

Emphasizing voice assistant capabilities and shortcuts.

iterations

These are the main changes we made to our app after the testing. It includes creating additional features to support easy navigation to the item, a more customized way to be notified of missing items, a clearer hierarchy of our dashboard, and emphasizing the voice assistant capabilities.

design language

Below is Sticky's design language that includes the color palette, typeface, font size, icons, and components. Our team decided to choose a typeface that has a distinctive letterform to increase readability and character recognition. We also decided with the dark mode theme for higher contrast.

introducing sticky

 
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ONBOARDING &

ITEM DASHBOARD

Sticky guides users through the onboarding process of activating and saving a tracker to the item dashboard with illustrations and voice overlay.  With the technology of the camera AI sensor, users can get a seamless item identification and also set alerts for items left out of a certain range.

VOICE ASSISTANT & NAVIGATION TOOL

Voice assistant provides quick shortcuts to check item status and app functions. Through the feature, users can also get clear and precise directions to the lost items with audio and haptic feedback, a visual compass, and camera AI. 

HOUSE MAP

House map provides users with the precise location of items at home. With the ability to see the location of each tracked item with the indicator dots, users can locate items easier and faster in these familiar spaces.

ITEM REMINDER

To conveniently remind users of their various items, there are custom settings for items left at home or out of range in public. When the selected item is out of a set location range, Sticky will send out a notification as a reminder of the forgotten item.

CUSTOMIZABLE UI SETTING

To be accessible to people with varying vision abilities, the app interface is customizable to best suit the user's need with the option of light mode, dark mode, accessible themes for color blindness, and changing text size.

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RECHARGABLE

Sticky is rechargeable and notifies you when it is low on battery. To quickly check the status, open the item dashboard that displays battery life with the ring indicator.

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ACCESSIBLE

Sticky has a variety of features including voice assistant, audio and haptic feedback, cardinal directions for navigation, and customizable UI. 

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SIMPLE

 Easily find your items by clicking on the ring alarm tool or open navigation. Use the voice assistant as a shortcut to find anything you need within the app. 

reflection

PUTTING ACCESSIBILITY FIRST

The main goal for my team was to create an assistive and user-friendly product for people that are visually impaired. We conducted interviews and research to empathize with the users and understand their needs. Through the experience, I have become more mindful when designing interactions to remove unnecessary pain or friction in the use of products.

 

NEXT STEPS

With a refined working prototype, we hope to conduct another round of usability testing and iterate along the way to reveal areas of confusion and uncover opportunities to improve the overall user experience. We also wish to further explore the physical form and material of the tracker as a tactile experience.