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1Y TO FIND A NEW SOLUTION TO CITY POLLUTION, HEALTH & FITNESS AT DYSON.

DYSON UK - 2022

B2C Health, Fitness, Air Quality App & IoT wearable

Context

In 2022, after 1 year as a Product Designer at Dyson, the Design Director Jon Marsh asked me to start leading and managing the creation and delivery of an all-new secret-connected wearable product & form factor. The product vision & end-user experience had no clear leadership, and crazy tight deadlines. I became the design&experience front-man of this 120+ people project, and successfully delivered a validated POC of the product.

What is it?

⚠️  This product's planned launch is 2024, therefore I can't detail much of it.

It is an all-day Health, Fitness & Air Quality tracking product, that combines an Android/iOS mobile app with a screen-based IoT wearable, having its own OS and set of micro-apps.

How does it work?

The wearable product records multiple metrics all day long and provides warnings, notifications, stats & recommendations to the user via the embedded screen or the mobile app for larger pieces of content.

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Delivered

Flume competitor product

120+

Ppl. Project

100+

Screens delivered

3

Dev teams

1y

Involvement

14

Designers

2024

Release

15+

Testing sessions

9.2/10

End test score

Process

1.Understand

2 months

12.2021

2.Ideate

1 month

02.2022

3.Plan

1 month

03.2022

4.Iterate

6 months

04.2022

5.Hand-off

1 month

12.2022

PHASE 1 - 2 MTHS

UNDERSTAND.

As a newly assigned Product Manager on this huge project, I had to gather & analyze dozens of data sources, defining our target audience, user needs and product vision, ensuring optimal market fit (EMUC methodology).

0. Product Definition & Origins

The 1st Dyson wearable connected product to launch is the Dyson Zone, an air purifier headphone that also monitors live pollution (cf. AQ value) and live-streams it to the Dyson mobile app. It launched on 02.2023.

I had the opportunity to work as a Product Manager on another IoT wearable device with this unique set of features:

  1. An embedded screen with a dedicated OS & set of micro-apps

  2. An all-new form factor/product category for Dyson

  3. Tracks users' Health, Fitness & Air Quality metrics 'all day long'​

  4. Connected to a mobile companion app that showcases the measure data

  5. High-end product

⚠️  To know before reading further

  • I can not disclose any specific details about the product itself, including its actual form factor, design, unique features, direct competitors... I will stay voluntarily vague on these elements.

  • The word 'Product' will combine both the IoT device & the mobile app because both had been designed together as one seamless product experience

  • 'AQ' will be used for 'Air Quality', which follows the W.H.O AQ scale

  • Dyson splits the Product Design role between UX & UI, each having its own set of 'specialists' within a dedicated team

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1. What are we solving for which market?

"Empower citizens by making the invisible local & surrounding pollution threat visible to them"

 

This product's main objective and differentiating factor is the surrounding Air Quality (cf.AQ) 'pollution' tracking and the unique value it brings to the users once combined with other health/fitness metrics. The challenge is to bring these data together and make them useful & appealing to users on a daily basis.​

This Product vision strategy made China the main target market for these 4 reasons:
 

  1. Pollution awareness: Pollution in China causes 2M deaths/y, and air pollution awareness is high. The Chinese anti-pollution solutions market was valued at US$1.5 billion and is expected to reach US$2.5 billion by 2027
     

  2. Large health-tracking market: In 2022, China accounted for over 30% of the global high-tech wearable health-tracking market
     

  3. High-end brand success: China is the world's second-largest luxury market, after the United States. Chinese consumers accounted for 21% of the global luxury goods purchase market in 2022
     

  4. Dyson is highly popular in China: The brand is renowned & trusted for its home air-quality cleaning & sensing technology, which makes customer acquisition for this new product category easier. However, convincing them to 'wear Dyson' outside their home will remain a challenge/risk to measure and tackle.

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2. What are our direct & indirect competitors?

Group Commercial established a comprehensive breakdown of existing competitors for each market (China, USA, EU). I became an expert in each of these product categories, by testing most of these hardware & software solutions myself.

Intensive surveys & interviews helped us gather feedback on each one of these competitors (cf '4.Gather user needs & feedback' below)

Health-tracking devices

Direct & Indirect Competition
Smartwatch, smart bracelets, body band. These products cover a wide range of users, from casual, to high-elite sport. It's a highly competitive market 

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Workout & Fitness apps

Potential Competition

Very market-specific. Stravia and Nike are strong in EU & USA, but Keep is the leader in China with 300M users.

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Air quality mobile apps

Indirect competition

These apps are highly popular in China ('Air Quality China' has 10M users). Apple, GG, Samsung now implement it directly within their OS, making competition much harder.

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Health-tracking apps

Direct Competition

Leaders are the embedded OS health apps (Apple, Google, Samsung Health), making it very hard to create value as a 3rd party out of their ecosystem.

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Air quality tracking devices

Indirect competition

A growing market all around the world with new solutions measuring pollution levels at home and on the go. Flume, TZOA, and Atmo-tube are a few main brands on this growing market.

3. Who is this product for?

Together with the Commercial team, we defined the key user Personas from both perspectives:

  • Commercial-led requirements: profile of customers that we could easily target with ads)

  • UX-led requirements: focusing on the end-user's daily journey, needs, accessibility requirements...

Intensive surveys & interviews helped us gather feedback and daily-life needs for each of these Personas (cf '4.Gather user needs & feedback' below)

Person Talking on the Phone

Persona 1: Active Citizens

Typical 30 to 45yo active citizen, used to commute, go out and work-out in a busy city environment most of their time. They seak better AQ awareness.

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Persona 3: Fitness Enthusiast

20M people in cities run actively in China. These users care about staying in shape, and are happy to use technology to achieve their goal. Outdoor AQ awareness is high.

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Persona 5: Fashionista

Typical early adopters users if the product becomes a fashion trend. The visual and customisation aspects of the product experience would matter to them to build social status.

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Persona 2: Health Sensitive

246M people in China are sensitive to AQ-related diseases (pollen allergy, asthma..). These users are highly aware of their environment and look for efficient solutions to improve & track their health.

Family Stretch

Persona 4: Family Carer

570M parents live in cities in China in 2020. There is a social trend to educate & protect children from AQ exposure.

4. Gather user needs & feedback

Our Chinese, USA, EU User Insight teams ran extensive user interviews and research campaigns based on the various personas established prior:

  • 'Day in life' video documentary: In-person follow-through of the Persona's day, covering their daily routine & habits

  • 'Exploratory interviews': Qualitative feedback about competitor health, fitness, AQ tracking devices and AQ-awareness perception

  • Large-scale survey: Quantitave feedback about competitor health, fitness, AQ tracking devices and AQ-awareness perception

 

The device being all-day wear, I defined our Persona's needs at each step of their work days, home time, commute etc...using the multiple data sources listed above. It created a 'Day in Life' user-need matrix for each Persona that was key for this stage of the project. See below a dumb-down version of it:

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5. Technical software & design requirements

I had to understand the technical & design requirements of the different platforms the product would be working on. Here are some of the key highlights:

Platform 1: Embedded IoT OS

  • Battery life & Data ping: Getting data from the cloud to the IoT product was extremely energy-consuming. We had to design features that would avoid as much as possible to 'ping' these data sets (GPS location history, weather data..)

 

  • Form factor usability: The new form factor of the IoT came with its set of new usability & screen interaction challenges that had to be tested and explored

Platform 3: Cloud based services

  • Cloud-based services: Both the IoT & Mobile app would be using Dyson & 3rd party online datasets & services. We had to work collaboratively to ensure the end-user on-screen experience would work seamlessly with these services (load time, data available..)

  • Region-based: These online services would differ from one region to the other (especially in China vs the rest of the world). We had to ensure the features would work/adapt accordingly

Platform 2: IoS/Android Mobile app

  • Use & stream IoT data: Mobile data could get off-sync with the cloud or IoT device. We had to anticipate these edge cases & define how to communicate it to the user

  • Android/IoS: Widgets, design guidelines and other specific requirements and available features from each OS had to be taken into account while building our feature-set later on

Phase deliverables

  • 'Product vision requirements': Set the product target personas, technologies, objectives, and their associated requirements

  • 'User research, feedback & insights': A sum-up of all the key outcomes from the various user testing

  • 'Day in life user need matrix': User need breakdown for each Persona at each step of their day

Phase challenges

The project was already in the work within the Engineering team for several years (sensors & hardware tech dev.). That created a set of employees & VPs that had developed their own vision of what the product should be, which wouldn't rely on any market and user need analyses. Part of my role was to mitigate and explain the design process, by ensuring great communication, transparency & by including these valuable opinions when setting the product vision.​

4.Gather user needs
3. Personas
PHASE 2 - 1 MTH

IDEATE.

Using all the data, user feedback, business requirements, strategic vision, and competitor analyses gathered previously, I kicked-off a 2 sprints of feature ideations, from blue-sky workshop to an organized & ranked feature set for each platform, to explore and trial later on.

1. Find features & solutions for each user need 

The first step was for the UX team & I was to review the previously established "Day in life" user need matrix and come up with blue-sky solutions & features for each need, at each step of the day, for each Persona.

The device being all-day wear for city-life users, it's key to find solutions for each need throughout their work-days, but also time-off, business travel... This document would later become referenced and consulted many times throughout the project duration.

See below a dumb-down version of it - Actual file contained 50+ features (most of it can not be disclosed):

2. Build the 1st feature matrix for each interface

Once I had this library of blue-sky feature ideation covering all Persona's needs throughout their day, it was time to sort & rank them.

 

Because our product experience would be made out of 2 main interfaces (mobile app & IoT device), it was key to define what experience would we bring on which interface, using the MoSCoW ranking:

  • Mobile app purpose: Used for extensive & proactive past/cross-data browsing

  • IoT device purpose: Used for short-term instant & day-level data browsing, warnings & notifications

A first early technical feasibility & feature ranking pass was made, to ensure no unfeasible ideas would stay in the process. However, the feature proposal would be defined later throughout the iterative trial & error AGILE process.

See below a dumb-down version of the feature matrix created (most of it can not be disclosed):

3. Combine features into meaningful Groups

Once I had a well-structured and ranked feature list, the challenge was to find the best way of combining them into groups that would resonate with users:

  • On mobile: Groups would become 'tabs'

  • On the IoT device: Groups would become 'micro-apps' 

That allowed us to organize our work as if we were working on 6 separate Products, each having to be interfaced on both the IoT and mobile app

 

We ranked and prioritized these 6 groups based on the established Product vision requirements set prior (for example: AQ features were the key differentiating factor of this product, so we made it a main priority).

This Group ranking was different from a feature ranking that would occur later within the Iteration Phase, in which we would focus on each Group individually for 1 or 2 sprints.

Feature Group 1

AQ-related live & past features

Contains live AQ data, historic charts, notifications & other undisclosed features.

Feature Group 4

Undisclosed

Feature Group 2

Health-related features

Undisclosed

Feature Group 5

Undisclosed

Feature Group 3

Fitness related features

Undisclosed

Feature Group 6

Undisclosed

Phase deliverables

  • 'Day in Life feature set': User need & associated feature breakdown for each Persona at each step of their day

  • 'Feature set matrix': Detailed breakdown of all the features ideas, which data they require, and on which interface (mobile or IoT) they would be most relevant

  • 'Feature Groups definition & Prioritization': VP approved list of feature group that would make up the micro-app set & mobile app  main content

  • 'Workload sizing estimate': High-level estimation of how many screens needed design for each micro-app & mobile 

Phase challenges

Organising the features into groups ended up being a strong challenge. The product proposal being a first in the industry, there was no pre-existing products to base our feature-set on. Many of these features could have been combined in many different ways to provide radically different experiences to the user. We would test a few of these iterations in the following Iteration Phase.

PHASE 3 - 1 MTH

PLAN & ORGANISE.

We now had delimited the scale of the product proposal. My new challenge was to create new processes to deliver 100+ tested & designed screens in under 6mths for both the mobile app & the IoT device, within a company structure that had never done more than 10+ screens delivery at a time cross projects. Find below how I solved this riddle.

1. Setting-up new AGILE workflow between teams

This project was the first software-based product ever worked on at Dyson, it implies that very few AGILE design ways of working were implemented.

Part of my role was to advocate and implement them and ensure cohesive end-user experience despite the multiple devs teams, design teams & complex management hierarchy for this 120+ ppl project. That's why I updated the existing VPs Design Review Process, going from a x1 every 2 mths Approval Review to a x4/mth, adapting it to the unique fast pace of this project.

I designed, in close collaboration with the Product Owner and VPs, a seamless and efficient software delivery flow for both the embedded and mobile app software.

The design delivery I built consisted in 3 sets of loop cycles following one another, done for each mobile tab and IoT micro-apps (following the Feature groups approved previously):

  1. Concept Validation: Design/validate the feature set & hypotheses made for each micro-app, then hand off to Devs to build the back end

  2. Usability Validation & UX Patterns: Design/validate refined mockups, UX patterns & fleshed-out IA , then hand off to Devs for components implementation

  3. Look & Feel Validation: Design/validate the UI, colour schemes, animations, copy, GUI, then hand over to Devs to re-skin the existing components.