Cleanr

UI/ux design

Cleanr is an app prototype for smart washing machines, developed as part of an interaction design university course. It is designed to provide an enriched, thoughtful experience for smart washing machine users while carefully balancing overcomplexity.

The challenge

IOT is a relatively new technologial frontier. Because of this, everything that can get made seems to get made, with little consideration on whether it should or if it’s even meaningful. This is true for many fields, even mature ones, but is particularly exuberant in this area. App often get developed with the mindset that they live at the center of users attention, which leads to features that can be marginally useful but suffocate the main experience.

The design

As a response to the mentioned phenomena, Cleanr is an exercise in essentialism and restraint. It doesn’t want to be the center of interactions with the washing machine, recognizing that the optimal interaction often occurs directly with the washing machine itself. Cleanr is happy to fade into the background, but optimized for the distinct experiences it offers. These are: monitoring, guided washing and statistics.

State monitoring

Sometimes, you may want to check up on your wash. Maybe you have a free time window and could use the opportunity to hang your clothes out to dry. Maybe you are mentally planning out your next moves and want to know how much time until the wash is completed to take that information into account. Sometimes, it's not easy or convenient to check the washing machine’s display: maybe the machine is on a different floor, maybe you're doing something that binds you to a certain location that you can't momentarily leave. Because of this, Cleanr displays the washing machine state front and center. A wash can also be paused or interrupted, for instance if the power draw is momentarily too significant.

Connection and washing machine health are displayed on the main screen while the machine is at rest.

With an ongoing wash, Cleanr surfaces a remaining time countdown, an estimated completion time, as well as controls to pause or interrupt the wash.

If the wash is interrupted, Cleanr allows to easily resume at wish.

Washing

Cleanr recognizes that the most convenient way to setup a wash is when you load in your clothes. In that scenario, pulling out a phone to start washing is unnatural: it is much easier to set things up on the washing machine directly. This is why Cleanr aims to solve a different need, namley what settings to use when in doubt. The way Cleanr allows to start a wash is through a guided process that asks users to input information they are familiar with. This information is then used to calculate the optimal wash settings that then get transferred to the washing machine. This method of starting a wash is ment to solve a different need than the regular wash, thus not competing with the main washing machine interface.

Stats

Sometimes users might want to know how much they consume, both in terms of electricity and water. This might be useful for those who are environmentally or financially conscious. Because of this, Cleanr offers in depth statistics for both water and electricity consumption, broken down by month or week.

Process and tools

Cleanr is a solo project. The development started with a brief, user journey and rough wireframes. The final interactive prototype was built using Adobe XD.

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