Entity represents a speculative venture into app design. This never-incoporated startup seeks to fill the rapidly-growing need for a flexible, brand-agnostic platform from which to control the expanding roster of artificial entities such as self-driving vehicles, automated homes, and office assistants that will become central to life in highly-developed nations over the coming 5-10 years.
Role: All research and design work by Evan Soares, including sketches, wireframes, low- and high-fidelity prototypes, UI visual design, and branding
Entity began as a thought experiment and an attempt to answer the question, "how will consumers manage the tasks and behavior of mostly-autonomous entities both existing and in development in an efficient and centralized manner from their mobile device, avoiding a fractured and inconsistent experience that threatens to emerge?"
Below are initial concept sketches, pulling potential UX solutions for core tasks: adding artificial entities to a user's roster of support, monitoring the position and activities of said entities, issuing commands, and scheduling tasks.
These sketches were informed by market research and iterations were developed in response to field research including interviews with volunteer participants.
After solidifying the core list and sequence of tasks central to A.E. management in the near future, information architecture and app navigation was elaborated in the below wireframes and mapping.
The above wireframes were then used to create a series of prototypes. These were then shown to users in order to identify points of confusion and resolve loops and dead-ends in the app's navigation. Below is a sample of an early, low-fidelity prototype shown alongside a later, high-fidelity prototype. Note the iterative changes made to the app's bottom-nav and voice controls.
After resolving issues exposed by user testing of a series of prototypes, an in-depth exploration of visual designs for the app UI (skins) was conducted. As a speculative app development project, I consider the look and feel to be of paramount importance. A primary project goal of the Entity project was to garner the interest of partners and investors while pushing the limits of the currently possible, and so the design needed to feel of a place in an imagined near future while still believably rooted in the reality of today's mobile phone design language and capacity. Collected here are just a few of a great many explorations that did not meet the above criteria.
The final prototype interface is a sleek, modern UI that is simple to understand while offering core controls over what are destined to be dizzyingly complex machines. Futuristic without verging overly into sci-fi and serious without appearing grim, Entity feels like a plausible starting point for what is certain to be one of, if not the most crucial pieces of software to emerge in the next decade.
Below are the app's AE control set, home screen, and map screen, followed by some early branding explorations.
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