Swapnil Kosarabe

Redesign of Homebase

Why was the product discontinued ?

Homebase digital message center by Audiovox released in 2008 had an interesting functionality of storing electronic messages for others. Apart from acting as a digital photo frame, it possessed dry erase whiteboard and place for sticking post it notes. However, with the advancement in the technology, Audiovox got replaced by mobile, tablets and laptops with several advanced features and great efficiency.
The intent of the whole problem is to redesign the Audiovox Homebase device serving the new generation with the mission of bringing families and friends together.

 

Duration: 2 weeks

Team: Swapnil Kosarabe,  Aishwarya Sheth,  Bhavna Ganesh,  Hannah Ropar

My Role: I participated in the early Design research and assisted team in exploring solutions through quick sketches, physical prototyping and designed high fidelity prototypes.

 

The Process

About the product

“The goal of the product was to bring all the family members close to each other by bridging the gaps in the communication channels by storing and posting messages”

Customer feedback

We gathered customer feedback from several websites and blogs, and identified features that were most liked and features that prevented users from having a smooth experience

Likes

  1. Multi-purpose message storing system
     
  2. Easy to organize ‘To do tasks’ at one place 

  3. Great substitute to traditional photo frames
     
  4. Simple user flow to carry out primary functions 

  5. Novel feature of tagging messages to a calendar for playback on specific dates 

  6. Easy to carry and install

Dislikes

  1. Product with outdated technology
     
  2. Limited storage 

  3. Needs to be plugged in all the time 

  4. Fails to grab attention of family members thus preventing communication 

  5. Complex interface to  save post in calendar feature
     
  6. Require users to be physically present before device for recording message

“I thought this product would be a great way to keep everyone in the house communicating but I was rather disappointed after a few days of use”

Setting the base

To redesign the Homebase digital message center aligned with the new generation user requirements, we established a framework that would guide us in the whole process.

Target users

Our target users are parents and kids who wish to stay in touch with each other and their friends

Context

We decided to focus on the residential context for redesigning the product

Stakeholder

Homebase deals with designing products that serves residential areas with an intent to improve their lives

How did user needs change over the years ?

We mapped existing features of the product and analyzed how these needs modified over the time with the advancement in technology. The medium used to serve these needs varied significantly and several media provided a majority of the features that could connect the families and friends together but was limited to user groups.

Research Insights

We identified following insights after going through the customer reviews and analyzing the enhancements in the user needs due to advancement in technology

The Challenge

How might we blend the quality of social collaboration within the product and make the experience enjoyable?

Concept sketches

We started exploring early ideas incorporating user requirements that were drawn during the user research. We followed a 10 x 10 process, where we explored 10 different ideas and explored the most suitable and fit idea into 10 different ways thus satisfying user requirements.

We selected the concept of smart modules during the early design exploration. We explored the ways this smart module can be used by target users to achieve the goals and instill the quality of social collaboration in the vicinity.

Exploring the Possibilities - Smart Modules


We envisioned a smart module to consist of Electro-permanent magnets that can cause the attraction between two modules thus holding them together. These smart modules can be charged through the central large module that controls the functioning of each small modules. The small modules are lightweight and can easily attach to the large module thus serving different user requirements.

Brainstorming


We envisioned a smart module to consist of Electro-permanent magnets that can cause the attraction between two modules thus holding them together. These smart modules can be charged through the central large module that controls the functioning of each small modules. The small modules are lightweight and can easily attach to the large module thus serving different user requirements.

Final design

“The goal of the product was to bring all the family members close to each other by bridging the gaps in the communication channels by storing and posting messages”

User testing

We started exploring early ideas incorporating user requirements that were drawn during the user research. We followed a 10 x 10 process, where we explored 10 different ideas and explored the most suitable and fit idea into 10 different ways thus satisfying user requirements.