UX Design internship project

Loomo Lock

A digital lock for a robot owner to stay alarmed during a temporal parking.

Design challenge
Address user security concerns for an unattended Loomo robot
• No access to current users for primary research
• Meet the product release milestone in 2 weeks
my role
As a solo UX specialist in the team, I took charge of user research and interaction design. I worked with marketing teams for need assessment, consulted robotic & software engineers for technical availability, delivered user flows by wireframe to align with current design system.

Aug 2018 (2 weeks)
user touchpoints
Mobile App, Robot Tablet Interface

Design Process

Design challenge

An Urgent Feature Update For Security

Loomo is a AI-powered self-balancing transporter who is also a friendly and expressive robot. Besides the smooth riding experience on top of the self-balancing vehicle (SBV), Loomo extends the user scenarios to shopping, social gathering as a robot.

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?

solution overview

Temporary Function-Disabled Lock

Activate Lock on The Robot

Quickly access the lock on the robot main menu

Unlock with PIN on Robot

All functions disabled until unlocked

Unlock on Mobile App

1-click unlock with phone-robot connection
need assessment& Technical review

The Research

Analyze Customer Reviews

Synthesizing the customer inquiries about the lock feature, I found that users have distinct interpretations regarding the performance of the lock:

As we could not rebuild the robot electronically, this solution had to be a digital one.

Market Research

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

1. Lock on App

2. Reconnect to Bluetooth

3. Unlock on App to bring it back

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

Contextualize A Scenario In Need

Synthesizing the customer inquiries from purchase reviews, I came up with this user journey when a Loomo user would wish to have a lock.
User journey map for a Loomo digital lock user
User journey map for a robot user who needs to buy a coffee when riding out

Synthesizing The Design Requirements​

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

iteractive prototype

Diverging from Opportunities, Converging by Trade-offs

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.

Ideation of lock solution
final design

User Flow Overview

Taking user scenario, task-complete time into consideration, I iterated the wireframe by justifying the design decisions on lock entry points, identity authentication methods. And finally I decided the robot as the only lock entry point but both robot and mobile app for unlocking with different authentication methods depending on the entry points.
The user flows of final design

Design Iterations

Lock Entry Point: Robot Screen Only

Users have 4 major interaction methods: robot touchscreen, mobile app, voice commands and motion detection. As voice command had been ruled out early on according to the usability testing results, I iterated 3 rounds to decide the only way to activate lock was by robot touchscreen.
Iteration 1: Mobile App Only
- User might not pay attention to update tutorial
- High technical failure rate due to network connection while stable connection between phone and robot is mandatory
Iteration 2: Mobile App + Robot Screen
- User confusion of where to set and reset PIN

PIN Set Up

Setting up PIN is the crucial initial step for a user to successfully activate lock. During the iteration of lock entry point, alternating set-up interactions helped reveal usability pain points for entry point.
Iteration 1: Setting Up On Mobile App
- Set-up entry was hidden too deep due to original information architecture which might not be fixed before feature launched
Iteration 2: Robot Screen Set Up
- User might not find "go back" option via padding the robot side

On Boarding Process

On boarding process for a newly launched feature was a different story with a newly used application. According to user testing, I found returned users had less patient to learn and relied on their past user experience. Finally, I decided to provide tutorial for 1st-time usage and manual cards on mobile app for review.
Iteration 1: 1st-time Onboard
- Swiping was not expected on the robot screen

Iteration 2: Pop-up Tutorial after Mobile App Updated
- Users did not pay attention if not using it immediately
- Information chunk was too large

System Design

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.

Setting Proper Expectations

From the customer reviews, I learned users might have different mental models of what a "lock" can do. So I designed a quick feature preview before they start to use this lock feature.
Feature Preview Before Starting The Lock
Mobile Feature Update Card

Catch Edge Cases

When iterating my prototype, working with engineering teams helped me identify edge cases that will cause a breakdown like system shutdown due to low battery.
Low Battery Warning before Activating Lock

Learn from System Design Thinking

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.

During the 3-month internship in Segway Robotics, I learned the following key values from our small but mighty UX team:
1. For agile development, always leveraging UX values with the cost-benefits.
During the iterations, the lock entry point switched back and forth between mobile app and the robot screen. Although technical availability is highly prioritized in a tech-driven product, the user experience should not give way for a frequently used feature like locking. Applying the 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle) to this context, the user experience before getting to the lock button is the 20% of the entire lock-to-unlock process.

2. At the early stage of the product, getting the target users is hard but digging out insights from internal user testing is still valuable.
During my internship at the Beijing headquarter, the product sales were only available in U.S and European. But I still conducted 4 rounds user testing with internal employees and local recruiting volunteers. By justifying the test results upon user scenario, the improvements were implementable.

3. Design is ever-changing as long as there is a strong enough reason. The agile product cycle made everything move fast. It caused lots of a constraints but opportunities to fail quick and try again.

4. Working a design unicorn means designers should take more responsibilities of shaping the product values. Working in a small and interrelating team enabled me not only to corporate with engineers to move design solutions forward but also learn from project managers how to measure design success and take it as a supporting point of view for design persuasion.