Designing for Buoy Labs, an award-winning smart home iOT for water startup

As the first in-house UX and visual designer at the startup, Buoy Labs (formerly Calliope Waterworks), I came on board when the hardware/software product was still in beta. I was tasked with a complete review and iterative redesign to take the product into production.

This involved

  • In-depth review of app for UX/UI

  • Review of website for UX/UI and marketing requirements

  • Review of app & Buoy device feedback from beta customers

  • Discussions with dev team for the iterative UX and UI design changes

  • Presenting a summary report of the findings

  • Suggesting an iterative roadmap of features to make both power and average users happy

  • Creating mockups and prototyping app screens

  • Whiteboarding with stakeholders, including dev team, support, and marketing

  • Writing user stories with dev team, with iterations planned out and features prioritized

  • Daily scrum with dev team

  • Redesign of the website to have a consistent brand, and move from an investor focus to a customer focus

  • Working with content writer for consistent voice through app, website, help center, marketing materials, and pitches.

Sitting in with our small team of developers and product manager so we could talk through system architecture, data, firmware, and app UX was invaluable, as were the daily scrums.

Holistic Design

I also worked closely with the marketing and customer experience teams. This close collaboration allowed us to have a single voice throughout our product, and we worked closed together on: 

  • Buoy Home Water app (iTunes, Google Play, and web version)

  • Buoy website with eCommence

  • All print materials, including developing the first Installation and Getting Started guides

  • Buoy device packaging (functional design suggestions and design collaboration with contracted vendors)

  • Testimonials and installation videos (collaborating with contracted vendor)

  • Product photography

  • Presentation materials

  • Misc print design needs, including booth design, business cards, banners, and other promotional materials

With this approach of holistic design, I worked closely with all internal and external stakeholders to gather feedback and iteratively improve the user experience throughout the product touch points. I met with Buoy customers, had daily discussions with the support team, sent out surveys that asked open-ended questions to get valuable feedback, observed device installations and first time app usage experiences, and demonstrated the product and then listened to potential customers questions and feedback at events, including CES 2018, the Consumer Electronics Show, where we received awards and recognition including 2018 Fast Company World Changing Ideas finalist.


Daily scrums
Sticky notes
Google Suite