Research Methods: Co-Design, Contextual Inquiries, Expert Interview, Trend Analysis, Survey, Usability Testing
Roles: Design Research Lead for Logitech’s Mobility Team
Cross-functional teams involved: Product Managers, Industrial Designers, Innovation Manager, Mechanical Engineers
Duration: 5 weeks
Background and Research Goal
During my summer intern at Logitech as a UX Strategist, I worked in the Mobility Team with industrial designers, innovation manager, engineers and product managers on a
design research project about wireless charging to test the current product concepts and envision the next portfolio products.
The research result directly impact the product roadmap and the next portfolio of products in 2 – 3 years.
* Mobility Team is one of the most innovative teams at Logitech. It’s famous for the iPad keyboards, iPad accessories and wireless charger for iPhone.
The project involved both quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative research ran by the customer insights team informed the qualitative study led by me. The qualitative study started with trend analysis and expert interview, which then led to a usability testing of current product concepts. The testing suggested the need to further explore charging behaviors through contextual inquiries and co-design. I then worked with industrial designers and engineers to create prototypes for future envisioning and ran co-design and concept testing session to iterate on the concept. The final deliverables were design principles for the next portfolio of products.
All participants were screened and recruited from the Logitech employees with a consideration of their gender, age, number of household, types of devices they and their family own.
Phase I: Understand the Charging Behaviors and the Competitive Landscape
Technology Evaluation and Trend Analysis
We first started conduct literature review and expert interview with electrical engineers to understand the wireless charging technology and its trend. Qi is the dominating wireless charging standard (Apple, Samsung are the major adopters) that uses inductive wireless charging, which requires contact in between the devices and chargers. The wireless charging technology is moving towards the idea of “charging in distance”, which could be potentially achieved through resonant charging:
Based on the secondary research, we also compared wireless charging to other common charging technology to evaluate its advantages and risks:
A competitive analysis on competitors’ products was also conducted to understand the product ecology. Three major findings are:
Form Factor Testing
Based on the initial exploration, the team (a product manager, an innovation manager, an industrial designer, and me) conducted a 15-minute product testing with 18 participants to evaluate a potential product on our product roadmap and understand different charging attitudes.
We used directed storytelling to guide participants to test and reflect on the product concepts.
* Photos from the testing are not available due to NDA
The initial exploration and the testing pointed us to conduct 7 in-depth contextual inquiries to understand people’s charging behaviors in the living context.
As part of the inquiries, we asked the participants to take pictures of the places they charge their devices and elaborate on their charging routines and charging stories.
pictures of participants’ charging environment
Phase I Insights: Charging Routines, Potential Users, Product Strategy
We summarized the learnings from the Phase I into visualizations of the charging routines, different potential user types, and implications on the product strategy.
The charging routines shows the charging behaviors of the participants in the 24-hour timespan:
We also visualized the personal and shared use of chargers in home, car, and office in relation to the morning and evening routines of the participants:
We then created user types to help the cross-functional team understand the potential users:
The final deliverable of Phase I is the product analysis of our current products and the product ecology. We realized the opportunities to explore the shared charging scenarios in home to create a seamless experience for the current and future users of our products:
Phase II: Envision New Charging Scenarios
Co-Design and Concept Testing
We then gathered back with the cross-functional teams to explore the product concepts for the shared charging scenarios. We created prototypes and toolkits for a Co-Design session with 6 participants to understand the shared charging.
We asked the participants to draw their home layout and discuss their current charging scenarios in the living room, kitchen, reading or activity rooms, and dining area. We then gave them several physical prototypes to discuss the potential user scenarios.
Phase II Insights: Design Principles
We summarized the phase II insights into design principles for the shared space in home:
Potential Impacts and Limitation
Based on Phase I and II, we summarized and breakdown the product strategy for different user scenarios, which serves as strategic design principles for designers, engineers and product managers to work on future products on wireless charging:
Due to the time limitation, this 5-week project was mostly conducted with internal employees, which could be biased. A further in-depth study on the area could be helpful to validate the learnings. In addition, research methods that require longer time such as diary study or ethnographic studies will be helpful to understand new wireless charging concepts when more refined prototypes are ready to be tested.