Zuli, a San Francisco-based startup, tasked EchoUser with designing their iOS app for their Smartplug, which allows smartphone users to control standard outlets via Bluetooth. Through user research and collaboration with Zuli's engineers, we created a fully functioning app with unique gestures and a simple interface that exceeded expectations. The Zuli app delivers a unique user experience that makes home automation accessible to any smartphone user.
Zuli, formerly known as Brightblu, is a San Francisco-based startup that aims to make home automation accessible to any smartphone user through their Smartplug. The Smartplug allows smartphone owners to control standard outlets through Bluetooth, enabling users to turn anything on and off from the touch of a screen. EchoUser was tasked with designing Zuli's iOS app, end-to-end, from user research to wireframes and testing, on to high fidelity mockups and prototypes.
To understand user needs, we conducted customer research and interviews to discover what users wanted in the app. From these interviews, we identified key features such as control of lights and electronics on a room-by-room basis and a way to monitor energy usage. In this unique case, the hardware informed some of the product's more unique features, such as dimming and turning on or off based on proximity. We collaborated with Zuli's engineers to match technological capabilities with the needs of customers.
Using the results of the research phase, we devised an information architecture that mapped the application to a user's understanding of the system. We divided the app into sections such as Setup, Energy Usage Tracking, Profiles, Home Screen, Device Settings, and Space Settings. Working with Zuli's developers, we were able to bring a fully functioning app to life that encompassed the complexity of users' needs while maintaining a simple interface and user flow.
After several iterations, we finalized the designs for the Zuli app, a new multi-faceted product that would control the Smartplugs, monitor energy, and allow users to "set-it-and-forget-it." To provide a different and fun user experience, we added unique gestures such as a long press on the home screen to open the dimmer (if applicable) and a swipe to the left to confirm.
Our collaboration with Zuli resulted in an iOS app that not only met but exceeded the expectations of the company and its users. With its simple interface and powerful capabilities, the Zuli app delivered a unique user experience that made home automation accessible to any smartphone user.