Bethany Moy

02

Project

Smart Fridge &
Companion App

An Overview

A smart fridge and companion mobile app designed for tenants in shared living spaces. Using touch ID technology, tenants’ food are organized and secured.

Type

Smart Device & Mobile App

Role

Research, Product Design, UI/UX, & Site Prototyping

Tools

Sketch, Figma, Photoshop, & Flinto

Duration

October - January 2016 (4 months)

Don’t get me wrong, living with roommates is great. The problem is when everyone steals your sh*t & goes under the pretense of each other to cover it up.

Michelle Vu, Roommate of 6
The Problem

Disorganization, Confusion & Thievery

Many complications can arise between tenants in shared living spaces, especially in one of the biggest shared common areas: the fridge. Due to the lack of division and security of fridge space, tenants suffer from unequal distribution and disorganization of the space which can often lead to tenants mistaking others’ items as their own. When living with roommates whom aren’t particularly close, tenants can find their items stolen, causing tension within the home.

Approaching the Problem

Securing the Space

Developing a smart fridge and companion app that prioritizes security, organization, and fair distribution of space to minimize tension between tenants and complaints to the landlord.

User Analysis

Identifying the User

People

Students and resident-dwellers with roommates (both familiar and/or unfamiliar).

Activities

Busy schedules, often needs to prepare and store food, may have social gatherings.

Contexts

Shared living spaces such as college residences, apartments, condos, and AirBnbs.

Technologies

Tech-savvy, owns a smart phone, familiar with visual displays and touch functions.

Product Design

Designing the Smart Device

Based on our user analysis, we wanted the user to be able to open and close the fridge with ease like they normally do on a daily basis hassle free. The fridge has a touch ID sensor on the handles calibrated to each individual user through the app to identify the user and which compartments from within to unlock and keep locked.

Since the majority of tenants living together are around the 2-6 range, we decided to divide the compartments with the maximum in mind. However, the fridge is modular in the sense that it reconfigures its space based on the number of users it must accommodate. Non-configured shelves remain unlock as shared storage space.

Process

4 Simple User Flows

Process

Wireframes

Designed with minimum gestures and screens in mind to allow for easy, intuitive use.

Key Features

The App

User Scenarios

01 / Calibration

Needs: Heather needs a way to organize her food from her roommates’ and stop a mystery food thief from stealing her food.

How: She calibrates the fridge by entering her user info, handprints, pin, and shelf colour. Once completed, she can easily unlock and lock her compartments through the fridge system’s touch ID.

User Scenarios

02 / Requesting Access

Needs: Heather is prepping for a party dinner and realizes she forgot to buy some tomatoes. She sees some in Bethany’s compartments and would like to access her shelf for 20 minutes.

How: She clicks Bethany’s profile and clicks “Request Access”. She drags the timer to 20 minutes and confirms. If Bethany accepts the request, the next time Heather accesses the fridge, it will unlock Bethany’s compartments, and start the countdown.

User Scenarios

03 / Responding to Requests

Needs: Bethany receives a notification on her phone that Heather would like to access her compartments in the fridge for 20 minutes. She would like to give Heather access, but only for 15 minutes.

How: Bethany goes to Fridge Requests in the drop down and swipes left to respond. She taps modify then drags the timer to 15 minutes and confirms. She will receive a notification when Heather has accessed her compartments in the fridge.

User Scenarios

04 / Guest Access

Needs: Heather is planning a party where guests will need to access the fridge to get drinks or snacks. She needs to allow everyone access to her shelves.

How: Heather clicks enable guest access which disables the locking system for her compartments. Other tenants’ compartments will still remain locked during this time.

Previous Iterations

Scrapping & Condensing

Initially my role was heavily focused on the landlord’s part of the app; however since our prime objective of the app and device was easy accessibility, we chose to scrap the landlord’s part since they would have too many roles to maintain: input user info, calibrate fridges, and remove users. This led me to revise the tenant’s UX and UI with Heather as they had more roles that needed to be simplified thanks to the landlord’s removal.

Other Work

Humanizing Prison
Architecture in America

Information Design, Print, & Interactive

Tempr

Mobile App, UI/UX