Smart Shades App

The smart shades app offer customers the ability to automate their home by controlling their shades, settings schedules, and saving scenes.

Product Designer


The shades are battery powered and use bluetooth to communicate with the app.

Users have the ability to set open/close their shades, set schedules, and group shade settings into scenes. 

Working within a connected system, my responsibilities were designing interactions on both the hardware and mobile app.

With limited time and budget for research, prioritizing was the game.

To start off our design process, Laura Lighty and I put together a short survey to gather context on the product's environment and use cases.

Validating early with remote testing.

Remote tests were utilized early in the design process to validate prototypes rapidly. We  performed several iterations of click tests to improve the selection UI components for the shade.

After remote testing, we began testing in person with a fully functioning prototype.

In need of a way to observe users with the entire shade system, not just the UI, I created a mobile prototype that could control an image of a shade. We put this image on a projector, and users were able to simulate all of the functionality of the app and the shade. This gave us a much better perspective on how a user would actually split focus between the UI and physical device. 

Device installation was the first and a pivotal piece of the overall experience.

The onboarding begins with the option to view the installation videos for the blind. This eliminates the need for the user to read any of the quick start guide included in the packaging. After installation the user is directed to an empty room state, and has the option to see start tips, which were based on testing insights.

Animations were utilized to clearly explain the setup process, and help connect the interactions taking place on the shade unit.

The user is able to control and schedule their shades by room or individual shade.

How'd it go?

The app was successfully released in 2019. The product is sold in Home Depot by the Home Decorator Collection, and it was the first digital product for that brand, helping establish digital branding guidelines.