transforming your phone into your smartest tool 

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Designing the future of Phone Works

The ask for this project was to envision the future of the phone works platform with Bluetooth products, starting with the moisture meter. 


Laura Lighty - Research

What is Phoneworks?

Phone works in a system of tools all folded into one app. It includes the ability to email, share, file, add voice notes, and geo-tag for a smarter, more efficient way to handle your project details.

Not Well Received 

The project was launched in 2016 and ran into numerous functionality and UX issues. This, unfortunately, garnered it quite a low review with users. 


Diagnosing Issues

The first phase of this project began with an extensive look into the existing product. A task analysis and complete catalog of every screen was created, this was important, because no one on the team had ever seen the app in its entirety. 

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The screen breakdown and task analysis was quite extensive. Below is a snapshot of the on-boarding process for the moisture meter, please click the link below for a view of the entire audit of the original app.


After an idea of the system was developed, tests were conducted of the existing moisture meter interface. These were sent out to the team (to familiarize them with both usability testing and to highlight current issues) as well as outside users. 

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Survey Highlights

Laura and I utilized a list of product registrants for the original moisture meter and gathered 300 responses.

What is your experience level with power tools?

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What would you like to see changed?

Do you own other Ryobi Phone Works products?

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- Higher market potential than anticipated 

- Navigation and On-boarding issues

Initial Thoughts

After the survey results were collected, I began to work through several iterations of concepts on paper, building on existing product flows. 

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The Best Interview of All Time

To gather some qualitative insights, Laura and I began cold-calling businesses around us and were able to schedule several interviews. 

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Other competitive units are built for durability and survive in harsh environments. In addition to that, pest control companies are legally liable to report moisture levels above 20% and often take pictures of these readings.

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- Professional market could improve selling price
- Hard to use the unit with two hands

Tool & Project Dashboard

The concept proposal included giving Phoneworks a facelift to send a strong message about the extent of update. A  bottom tab navigation that allowed easy access to tools and projects. With paired tools being highlighted when connected. 

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Adding tools as they're needed

From our research we began to gather insight that users don't own a high number of Phone Works tools. This led to the creating of the dashboard concept where tools are added as needed. 

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Phone acts as a catalog and isn't needed in-use

Adding a button to the hardware would allow users to connect their phone and keep it safely away in their pockets in harsh use environments. Using the app almost like a notetaker.

Feedback & Next Steps

Feedback to the concept was well received, but the decision was made to pursue other options. If I were to continue the project I would begin testing this concept with users in the field. 

Other work