Designing the Digital Interface for a Desktop Greenhouse

Homefarm

Summary

Create an intuitive user experience for Homefarm’s OLED screen and 4 button interface.

Type
Digital
Role
  • UX/UI

Year
2018

Time

2 days

Awards

Contributors

Identifying a design opportunity

As a consultant for Kudu Studios where Homefarm was a client, I discovered opportunities to improve for the desktop microgreens farm. Although we were originally hired for electronic engineering, testing the hardware led to discovering the opportunity to improve the UI for a better onboarding and maintenance experience. 

Hardware Constraints

The existing hardware was a limiting factor. The OLED screen measured merely 128 x 64 pixels and only processed black and white bitmaps. We were constrained to 4 existing buttons immediately below the screen.

Creating logic to user flows

Initial product testing showed that not much thought was given to the existing user flows.  So, first I mapped out the user flows for customers, starting from the onboarding and unboxing moment. Then, I mapped out the flows for returning users who have to interact with Homefarm to grow their microgreens.

Creating a suitable UI

Given the hardware setup with the small screen and 4 fixed buttons, it was important to create a simple UI that was intuitive to use.  To achieve this, two options were explored:

Option 1: Buttons varied based on screen.

Option 2: Buttons always meant the same thing regardless of screen.

Visual design for BMP screen

Although the screen is low-resolution, it was crucial for the visual design to be on-brand. Various options were created. Due to the screen’s low resolution, pixels were literally maneuvered to avoid blurring of lines and objects.

All photos by Homefarm. https://www.myhomefarm.io