As Loomo serves as a self-balancing vehicle for the majority of time, Loomo users will encounter lots of similar scenario as other SBV users. For the most popular SBV models like Segway Mini Plus and Xiaomi No.9, the users can lock and unlock their SBVs via app. Due to the low software development priority, Loomo hasn't launched a lock feature although it inherits the electronic ability from Segway Mini Plus.Since Loomo met our first user in June, the increasing security needs from customer feedbacks revealed a frequent user scenario: "When I ride Loomo out, what if I have to leave it alone for some reasons like visiting a convenience store?"
So there came the design challenge:
How could we give Loomo users the sense of security while they leave Loomo alone?
As we could not rebuild the robot electronically, this solution had to be a digital one.
Although the aim of a new design should never be chasing your competitors, but learning why they fail in certain ways can help me think my design solution over.
I examined the lock solutions of the most popular SBV models -- Xiaomi No.9 and Segway Mini Plus, which both utilize bluetooth to establish connection with the SBVs to take control of locking on phone app.
Take Segway Mini Plus as an example. According to a demo on Youtube, there are following steps from locking to unlocking:
1. Connect the cellphone with the SBV
2. Lock with the app
3. Shut down the SBV on the app
4. Restart the SBV and pair the phone with the SBV via bluetooth
5. Unlock with the app
Based on the online reviews, this solution results two major problems:
1. Unable to lock or unlock the SBV due to the failure of the Bluetooth connection
2. Confusion about how to shut down the locked SBV
1. Meeting user needs of restricting Loomo's availability at the owner's absence and alerting if it happens
2. The new feature should be easy to use and learn
3. Leveraging the development workload and user experience to meet the expecting product sprint
Based on the design requirements above, I brainstormed the interactions along the lock process under the ground rules of interacting with the mobile app and the robot. After confirming technical availability with the development team, I narrowed down the possible interaction solutions.
Designing a new feature is not only to meet the user needs for a specific scenario case but also to ensure the smooth user experience during the transitions to other tasks.
As a UX intern in Loomo team at Segway Robotics this summer, I was honored to provide solutions to help prepare Loomo for it's first commercial debut. I participated in various stages of the design cycle across different projects: brainstorming ideas, validating technical availability, prototyping and leading usability tests for UX quality check.