Overview / Design Strategy, The Project

Project under NDA

iRobot asked me and my three teammates to reimagining the capabilities and positioning of their cleaning robots, Roombas. The project is under an NDA, so I'll stay away from our findings and focus on our strategy solution.

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After conducting interviews, observations, and surveys, we were able to pin point three main tensions for Roomba users, all centered around the fact that people worry. So, we asked ourselves, how might we use Roomba's camera technology and other sensors to reduce the burden of people's worries?

 

We pitched a repositioning strategy to iRobot, suggesting that they move away from being a cleaning brand and move into being a connected smart home brand. With software and hardware updates, iRobot could alleviate user worries by exchanging information with IoT devices, enabling both to work

better together.

The Process / The Design Method

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We interviewed Roomba owners, saw their homes, observed them using and shopping for Roombas, sent out surveys, and utilized secondary research, all to gain empathy around the pain points of the users.

Then, we took everything we learned from the users and narrowed down on three major insights around routines, worries, and cameras. 

We brainstormed different ways to ease the tensions. We presented our research, insights, and initial ideas to iRobot at the midpoint of the project. iRobot was excited for us to solve the worry insight, so that is what our team narrowed in on.

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We flushed out our ideas, talked to users about them, and used concept rationales to understand the desirability, feasibility, and viability of each idea.

Using everything we learned, we developed a three step strategy for iRobot: branding, software, and hardware.

The Strategy / Three Part Solution

Branding

Rebrand iRobot as an IoT company, not a cleaning company. Roomba's should be shelved next to smart home items, not next to other vacuums. When people

think of IoT devices, Roomba should be top of mind.

Software

Push software updates that utilize the capabilities of the current cameras and sensors on the Roomba and connect

them to the other IoT devices in the

user's home.

Hardware

Future generations of Roomba's should allow for hardware add ons provide the empower the Roomba with more

information.