Company: Samsung Research America
Samsung is of course known for making products in numerous categories. During my time in the Samsung CX Lab, my core task was working on the interaction and detailed user flows for both the first and third-party applications on the Family Hub Smart Refrigerator. I joined the project during the 2.0 interface refresh, after the start of production code. This meant that my real job was to go over the interactions with a fine-tooth comb and make sure that every system state and interaction was accounted for and clearly documented.
Information Architecture / System Flows
Below is an example system flow for the logic depending on what parts of the tutorial / Out of Box Experience were skipped.
Out of Box Experience Tutorial Wireframes - Voice Commands
Below is the voice command storyboard mockups for the OOBE tutorial flow, one of several.
Coachmarks (Contextual Help Menus and Overlays)
A few of the detailed mockups that contain actual, rather than placeholder content.
Creating the specs
The largest spec that I created was for the tutorial mockups and interactions for the Out of Box Experience (OOBE). The ultimate goal was to perfect the interactions that occur when you first buy and install the fridge or perform a factory reset. With certain engineering constraints in mind, we had to be sensitive to every configuration from the most minimal setup without internet to the fullest setup with multiple Samsung accounts and profiles synced right away. My two core tasks were to create the flows for the tutorials videos, as well as the mockups and system flow for the entire OOBE setup process. Beyond OOBE, I also went over core interaction specs for the day to day system-wide operations and interactions, logic for accessibility for roughly 15 applications, interactions for Spotify and Pandora, as well as maintaining consistency between mobile and fridge versions of the calendar app.
Working with other teams
Working in a true 2-week agile sprint meant that specs would have to be created and updated quickly and regularly. While my role wasn't that of user researcher, I had the pleasure of working closely with the user research team and sitting in on a number of usability sessions, as well as participating in several myself. I learned first-hand where some of the biggest hurdles were and was able to get a much more nuanced understanding of how and when to use certain design conventions when updating the specs. My closest collaborator was a visual designer that would incorporate the visual changes that resulted from my spec changes. With engineering being remote, we had to be very explicit with our line item changes, so I made sure that communication was as clear as possible and went through a number of rounds of QA with engineering to address visual and interaction bugs.
Individual Contribution and Takeaways
Though my core task was definitely UX flows and design, I had the privilege of working on numerous aspects of the project from attending numerous UX research sessions in the "Kitchen Lab", addressing UX quality assurance bugs (since we were working very close to production). I think what struck me is that despite how late it was in the process, I was still able to fight for and successfully champion for better flows than the ones originally designed in the spec. UX and development always need to make compromises when the reality of actually solving the problem hits, and I was glad to be a part of that process.