Enlighted Inc. / Siemens
Head of Product Design
Enlighted Inc. is an IoT company owned by Siemens that serves various commercial real estate verticals. Enlighted’s tech is sensors built into lights and other infrastructure, plus the systems that transmit and analyze the resulting data. This results in energy savings, occupancy and utilization insights, creating greener buildings and safer, more efficiently used spaces.
I led Enlighted's User Experience team doing Software Product work alongside Product Managers and the VP of Product. Major accomplishments were the design and launch of the Configure app (for commissioning Enlighted’s sensors via an Android tablet interface) and creation of a design system and visual style for our products moving forward.
While at Enlighted I also created and evangelized our design process for software, helped guide hardware decisions, and led presentations and workshops (in-person and remote) about design thinking and user centered design, including conducting a remote 5-day design sprint workshop that helped provide the direction for Enlighted's future IoT products.
Configure App for Android Tablets
Configure is a new app for placing Enlighted sensors on a floor map - necessary in order to get accurate data from them.
Configure allows users, usually Field Engineers on a building site, to place and edit sensors in an intuitive touch-driven way, using laser strobe or 'whack-a-mole' scanning methods for sensor detection.
Configure replaces previous tools, removes the need to lug around a laptop, and lets field engineers cut their sensor commissioning time by an estimated 50%.
When the Configure Design Team (myself, a Product Manager and one other designer) started work on Configure, the current tool in use was EMConfig. It was for PC only, which meant field engineers had to lug around their laptops and a dongle accessory while commissioning sensors.
EmConfig was difficult to learn, slow to use and lacked many basic functions necessary for doing the job efficiently.
Our first step was research to understand the challenge.
Contextual Research – We conducted several follow-along sessions with Field Engineers. During these, I and other UX Designers took notes, filmed, watched, and participated hands-on in placing and verifying sensors whilst also (frankly) inundating the Field Engineers with questions. We followed up with additional interviews after the fact, to ensure we understood fully and got details right.
From this we learned vast amounts of background information: the physical demands of the work, current challenges, the details kept in mind at once to do the job properly, and more.
From the research we constructed personas - model users based on multiple users, so they can incorporate a large number of relevant traits, while avoiding overemphasis on any individual user’s expressed concerns…
These served as a shorthand tool for weighing design decisions, so Team members could consider:
Would the persona value this solution?
Which of this persona’s needs does this design address?
Additional Research informed our work:
Existing Tools Audit
Ongoing User Testing
This led us to several key findings that shaped the product.
A solid pre-production effort led us to a relatively simple goal, a vital step in getting the team aligned to discuss, design and build the project.
Working closely with technical staff, we then generated a Mini-Requirements document (sometimes written as a faux elevator pitch or press release, to aid in visualizing the end product).
From this, and using resources from research like the Personas, we generated Requirements, which in turn became User Stories and other specifications.
From Requirements and knowledge of the research the team collectively generated ideas and potential solutions to key problems.
Sketching and Flows
Ideas in turn were sketched (pre-COVID, thus in-person), mapped out in architecture and process flows.
Screen Flows and Wireframes
From stories and sketches, we moved to screen flows and wireframes.
During this process we identified functional components to be re-used across many screens. These then sped up the process of wireframing more screens.
A key factor during this work was working in real time with developers, trying ideas and sharing them right away. In general, having developers and designers coordinating daily in standups/scrums made an immense difference in finding practical solutions and avoiding rework.
Interactive tools like InVision and Figma allowed us to create clickable mockups, to walk through screens for ourselves and in many cases, to test with the end users.
While prototypes were being tested, we were also planning for visual treatments.
This meant gathering source material, then narrowing it to fit our requirements and our users.
These are just a few of the images referenced.
Because the established look for Enlighted's software was quite spare, I looked for small opportunities to add visual flourish while keeping to a functional look and feel.
Icons for the facility tree (the various levels of specificity describing a building and its location) provided one such opportunity.
Visual work resulted in a complete visual styleguide.
This styleguide in turn formed the basis for overall visual treatments for future Enlighted software.
Prior to launch, we also designed and built slideshow tutorials to show users how to complete the primary tasks in Configure.
These graphic prompts drastically reduced the amount of friction for new users, and enabled the software to launch with far less additional documentation.
The Configure App came together in a matter of months, launching in November 2020 in spite of the pandemic.
- Launched successfully on the Google Play Store: easily available to target users, software updates are simple to acquire.
- Has sped up commissioning of sensors by an estimated 50%.
- Now accommodates commissioning of certain switches as well , and functionality will continue to expand over time to accommodate more hardware and features.
- Due to in-built training content and contextual user prompts, requires less training in order to be successfully used by new field engineers.
Using Design Thinking as a basis, I designed, documented, and evangelized the Software Product Design Process at Enlighted, elevating design culture and visibility overall at the company.
Process - Divergence and Convergence
Process discussions and presentations also afforded an opportunity to teach the company about Divergence and Convergence:
- Divergence adds options, considers possibilities, reveals potential
- Convergence narrows scope, finds commonalities and aligns on solutions
Both patterns occur at different stages, and both contribute to a practical and functional design.
Remote Presentations to Large Groups
I led presentations to 50+ participants, broadcast live and recorded for future use.
These events elevated the visibility of Design at Enlighted, and aimed to give staff an idea of what my group did as well as how they could use Design Thinking themselves, in their own day-to-day work.
Remote Workshop: 5-Day Design Sprint
I organized and conducted a fully remote 5-day Design Sprint Workshop in February 2021, to drive development of our next-generation IoT products.
We used the Mural.co online whiteboarding tool, Microsoft Teams, Figma, and a variety of other software tools to enable a full-fledged design sprint based on the book Sprint, by Jake Knapp.
Remote Workshop: 5-Day Design Sprint
In addition to providing an intense but enjoyable week for participants (seen here at the end of day 5), the Design Sprint workshop resulted in the creation of a new prototype for testing, and ultimately a plan for an entirely new avenue (and new hardware components) for Enlighted's IoT offering.