My Role

UX Designer

The team

Visual design and research done by emily mark .

Project brief.

SCAD Startup is a yearly event hosted by the UX club in which students compete in teams in a week long design competition. Students are challenged to come up with a product or service concept based on a theme, 2018's theme being life and work balance, and are given a toolkit of product design and service design resources to utilize. My partner and I decided to tackle sleep and waking up, and my role in this project consisted of developing the interface of the app, wireframes, the 3D model of the blanket, and user research.

Initial research.

We interviewed a group of people aged between 18-24 about what they found challenging in balancing work and life. We collected the data and organized it into different categories. We found out that the most common work life balance obstacle is sleep. After gaining informal insight from our peers, we conducted a short survey to gain quantitative information about people’s sleep habits and challenges.

Our conclusion.

Most subjects lack a balance between work and life. The root of the problem is in their poor sleep and their struggle to wake up in the mornings.

The problem.

Balancing both work and life can be challenging for anyone with a busy schedule; busy users often find it hard to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, making it especially challenging to wake up in the mornings.

What's on the market?

Our user persona.

The solution.

An electric blanket that helps the user wake up by slowly warming them up minutes before their alarm goes off. The heat produced by the product induces the body to go into the light sleep phase, making it easier for the user to wake up relaxed and ready to take on the day.

Helios is an electric blanket and partnering application that helps the user wake up in the morning by gradually warming up with ones sleep cycle and chosen wake up time.

The user simply inputs into the application the time the alarm goes off, the time it takes the blanket to heat up, and the temperature of the blanket. The blanket is designed to be wireless and chargeable, having a maximum amount of 60 minutes of heating time to avoid overheating and accidents.

The app.

Helios tracks your 20-30 min wake up data in addition to your complete sleep cycle data. Users are able to adjust the temperature of their blanket and "heat up time" to their liking in conjunction with the alarm clock functionality. Simply press "start sleep" and Helios will do the work for you! Happy sleeping.

The blanket.

The blanket is wireless and uses bluetooth to connect to the Helios app. The button also acts as a LED light to alert users when the Bluetooth is activated. When the blanket heats up, it turns orange.

How the app and blanket work together.

Where we could've improved.

The day of the competition, we pitched our product to the judges and the idea was very well received. Many started commenting on how they would buy this product for an improved sleep cycle. The biggest flaw of our product however, was the fact that we were aiming and marketing it towards college students, a target audience that probably could not afford such product. Because our research was also done around this group, it was decided that further research on the needs of an older audience needed to be done to validate the potential success of this product.

Going forward, we learned that research is vital in any product design cycle, but we need to expand and do more research on different age groups, social classes, races, etc. In a nutshell, we learned that diversity is key to good design and successful products.