In 2016-2017, I worked as a UX design intern at Inpulse, an information technology startup based in SF. I worked closely with the CEO and lead designers to create and refine the interface and interactions for the wearable device and the accompanying mobile app.
With the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and dozens more, IoT and wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular. Although many of these gadgets are very technologically advanced, most appeal to a small and specific group, take time to get used to, are too clunky to be beautiful or fashionable, and most importantly, do not provide a smooth or memorable user experience. For Inpulse's wearable device and mobile app, my job was to create a unique and elegant experience. Some questions I considered were: How can the wearable device be most naturally integrated with the user's life? How can we be less dependent on our mobile devices? What actions would users perform without the wearable device and how can the device make it easier?
The goal of the wearable device was to increase the user's mobility in their day to day life. The mobile app was a way to easily set up and control the device and could be seen as an extension of the device. I explored and analyzed over 15 competitor products from inside out (taking apart the product if I have to), carefully noting the experience of each device and what can be improved upon and learned from. I created and continually refined the user journey and device interactions from the results I've gathered from research, feedback, and testing. I also designed the functionality and visual look of the app through multiple iterations of wireframes and mockups.
At Inpulse, my primary role was to create and refine the user experience for the wearable device and the mobile app, including designing the functionality, flows, interactions, and visual elements of the device and app. I worked directly with the CEO and lead industrial designer to constantly challenge existing ideas and broaden our perspective.
This is the process I used during my time at Inpulse:
Throughout the internship, I learned to think deeply about the true meaning and importance of user experience. I learned to focus less on the wireframes and the flows, and more on the raw interactions between the user and the product -- every touch, every feeling. Sometimes creating a product with a phenomenal user experience requires less conventional methods to get there, even if it means enacting and reenacting scenarios, taking apart other products, or thinking about solutions that may seem impractical but lead to ideas that may have never been considered.