Aqua SmartCloud

Umbo's cloud-based video security platform for multi-sites alarm monitoring and customer management. Aqua serves two major types of customers, which are system integrators and end users.

UI Design  |  UX Research  |  Project Management  |  Art Direction

Background

I started the design from zero to one

I was part of the product team at Umbo, and was responsible for overall UX strategy and design deliverable of Aqua from 2015 to 2018. My tasks spanned from concept to handoff, during which I worked closely with internal cross-disciplinary teams and often lead workshops or field interviews with clients to validate design assumptions and discover new design opportunities.

 

Re-imagine video security in the cloud era

Umbo's mission was to revolutionize video security industry with the help of computer vision. The service portal has continued to serve over five hundred business owners ever since.

4 Major Functions of Aqua

Management

User access rights,

manage subscription,

account management, support and troubleshoot.

Configuration

Configure camera properties, schedule event and alarm, configure third party plug-ins.

Monitoring

Live view monitoring, event based monitoring, push notification and device health warning.

Video Playback

Playback recorded camera view, seek events, create clips of playback, report of historical events.

Challenges

Migrate habits from close-circuit-network to the cloud 

Tension emerged between convenience and speed, LAN versus WAN, stability versus innovative as we pitch Aqua to early adopters. Clients came to ask for features they were familiar with, which appeared in Aqua in alternative methods. Conventional solutions on the market all work discretely, an user would own multiple accounts across different softwares in order to perform tasks ranged from installation, configuration, watching live view, seeking playback, and saving clips, etc. 

 

Our goal is to focus on eliminating the need to switch between platforms, meanwhile enable user of different roles to concentrate on getting their job done.

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How Aqua differs from conventional solutions

Clients were used to fully customized user permissions

[Before Aqua launched]

In order to redesign user permission to suit our scalable system, we spent a long time collected user profiles from our major customers. We first identified two types of users at the initial design stage by their minimal viable tasks required to accomplish their jobs:

  • End Users - Audience who use Aqua to monitor camera sites.

  • System Integrators - Audience who install, configure and maintain end users account.
     

[After Aqua launched]

After the launch of Aqua and expansion of the business, we started to learn about how users perform their daily responsibilities while on Aqua, more users have expressing great interest using our management portal for alarm monitoring. I worked with researcher, marketing and sales team to conduct multiple field research to interpret and classify the results we have gotten from the interview and feedback.

End Users

System Integrators

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Target audience study: From two major groups of user to smaller scale classification of users according to  the types of task and goals.

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In order to optimize information architecture, we analyze user profiling by mapping them on different composition of interaction factors.  It provided us great insight about which tasks should be prioritized on interface by user account of specific types. For example, an alarm monitor staff will see alarm processing portal first, while dashboard of analytic data will prompt if an administrator log in because admin's major repetitive task is drafting reports.

 People don’t buy a quarter inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!

 

– Theodore Levitt (Harvard Business School professor)

Flows of Information

Modular framework for configuration

 

Design with future growth in mind, we made major decision to adopt modularized interface and information framework. It allows design and the rest of the team to grow future features into our solution accordingly with more consistency and less debate over design decisions. It not only speed up development pace, but also optimize users experience of using Aqua, as the consistency across the system eliminate confusion when switching between different types of configuration. Our field application engineer also reported receiving less amount of configuration questions from customers.

Parallel framework for support

 

Some sectors were planned with future growth in mind, which lead it to a design of modular framework to which we can design interface accordingly. It was proved to speed up development process while keeping consistency across the system.

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Samples of Design

Wireframe Samples

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Interaction Design Samples

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Configuration - draw an event interest zone

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Download saved bookmarks from video playback

What did we learn?

MVP approach does not always work

 

The readiness of a task flow that complete user's goal matters more than an MVP design.

Simplify access rights first when user base is small

Designing over complicated user rights with various user group and layers created too much trouble over QA and debug in the beginning.

Design with goal of how to measure success

In the beginning, we only thought of tracking datas after our product launched, but soon we realized, in order to retrieve clean and precise data, it is crucial to design with the mindset of knowing how to break down data, it helped us to stay conscious of how to learn about our users' behaviors better from the quantitative aspect, and to remember how the design of our information structure can help push through this boundary in a respectful way.

My Roles through Years

My roles during 2016 (After Aqua launched)

My roles between 2017-2018 (Improve and update Features)

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My roles during 2015 (before Aqua launched)

Credits

When

 

2015 - 2018

Who

 

Lead of Technology& Project : David Chou

Design& Research: Azury Lin, Anita Hsu
Front-End:Vincent Ho, Jack Liao

Back-End: Kent Huang, Allen Sun

Infrastructure: Kakashi Liu, Kevin Liu  

computer vision, QA and FAE team. 

My Roles

 

Project Management, Field Research & Analysis, Information Architecture Design, Interaction Design, UI Design, Data Tracking & Analysis, User Testing

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