The team at PsiKick has developed a collection of methods and system level techniques for deploying wireless sensors without a battery. To be able to pitch it to potential customers and partners at the 2016 CES and MWC, PsiKick needed a mobile phone app and web based dashboard to demonstrate and highlight the operation of the technology utilizing bluetooth. That’s where we come in.
As consultants, it’s typical for us to have limited expertise in our clients’ specific product domain. We need to understand the domain at hand in order to design effective solutions in products. In this project, learning about the BLE (bluetooth low energy) protocol from the clients and making sure we communicate in a shared vocabulary that streamlines the rest of the design process.
With the gained knowledge of the BLE domain, we now have the ability to break down the app’s goals & functionality into visual diagrams. This helps identify categories, patterns, and discrepancies in how the app will work versus how it should work. Aside from the insight, these diagrams help facilitate many conversations and diagram iterations with the client to figure out the user’s intent & workflows, as well as eliminating invalid assumptions.
Through this process, we have identified three different modes in the Psikick mobile app in which the user will interact with the content.
Before jumping into how the design will look, it’s best to solidify what content appears in which screen, as well as in which order the user will receive the information. Sketching out the design helped speed up the process of elimination in collaboration with everyone on the project. We then moved into higher-fidelity interface layouts (wireframes) once we were more confident in the content layout.
With this Psikick workflow diagrams as a guide, the decision was to made to prioritize the data being received from the sensors. To give the more context on the data, graphs and other visualizations were given a priority.
With the app’s features, workflows, and wireframes in agreement with the client, it’s finally time to apply the colors, typography, icons, other visual aesthetics to the application. The approach with a dark-themed interface and big bold numbers is to convey a sleek app with no frills. A conscious effort was made to be sure the visual components could be expanded upon for other types of devices (e.g. Desktop application).
Designs were approved and app development finished on schedule. The PsiKick Battery-less BLE sensor node and it's accompanying mobile app were sucessfully demo’d at the 2016 CES & Mobile World Congress. Currently we are working with Psikick to develop a desktop application to further translate their novel battery-less enabling technology into usable web products.