All members of the household are using technology and electronics more than ever, creating new behaviors regarding electric sustainability, and desires for parents to keep their kids at a healthy level of technology absorption.

Adaptlet is an electrical monitoring companion for the household that gamifies sustainability of a room to incline children and adults to be mindful of power consumption and receive cosmetic rewards, unlike Sense, Smart Adapters, & Smappee.

Scope of work


16 Weeks


Just me

What I built

UX Methodologies

Diary Studies

Literature Review


Empathy Maps

User Journey Maps

UX Audits

Business Modeling

User Flows

Information Architecture

A/B testing




lo-high fidelity

Quantitative Data Analysis

Diary Studies & Interviews

What is the approach?

The strategy was to just talk to random samples of parents about their daily routine during COVID; their goals during the day, how they might be interrupted, how they might reduce energy consumption, and why they might want their homes to be more sustainable.

13 interviewed participants

Key Finding:

Has your family tried to reduce energy consumption? If you have, how?
Participant 3
Mother,  47, 2 kids

“Yes, we light candles at night, no lights on anywhere, and just get together and watch TV, only the living room AC on. It’s nice it gets the girls to calm down, it's pretty peaceful.”

What are other factors?

Corrupted-family relationships

  • kids isolate themselves from their parents.
  • desire for parents to better their kids sustainability.
  • working from home makes it hard to interact and keep up with kids.
  • parents prefer little distraction and keeping kids entertained.

Key Finding:

Has your family done anything to better your lives at home during COVID? If you have, how?
Participant 6
Mother,  42, 2 kids

“Because the pandemic happens I got Rosie a new cable box. That TV was going all night and so was mine, if pandemic didn’t happen I wouldn’t of gotten her a cable box - now I can watch mine and she could watch hers.”

  • This observation served justice to whether or not kids secluding themselves into electronics at home is true, as a result of COVID, kids are developing a higher reliance on tech to pass time. The question is, is this what parents want? Its not what the planet wants.

What are the problems?

Discovering Personas

User Archetypes

With accessibility & trust in mind, we brainstormed users from all ranges of income, ethnic backgrounds, relationships, family, job & education, morals and goals.

Climate Combatants

Remote Workers

Online Student








Entertainment Enthusiasts

Apartment Renter

home Renter

Home Owner


Empathy maps were used to help identify relationships between actions, thoughts, consequences, and behaviors. What things are users doing to be proactive? What might trigger them? What is their emotion towards these factors?

But let’s face it, nobody should be ANGRY for leaving the light on. It happens.

Addressing Pain Points, Goals, Needs & Wants

What are the core motivations with our business goals and user goals? How can we directly help their pain points and frustrations? This is where we align business goals and capabilities with what users have in their problem domain. Users want to better their children’s and their own electrical behaviors, reduce stress while at home, and discover their own electrical habits. In all, these don’t sound like very fun things, in fact is kind of depressing. But something important was TRUST, how can we make these things fun for families and individuals?

Identifying points of design

Journey maps helped identify the relationships between the topology, ontology, and agency of spaces while also considering volatility of seasonal change, and family occurrences that may bring about a lack of mindful sustainability.Journey maps were also used during the storyboard design fiction process.


Blended Spaces

Preliminary solutions seeked to solve problems related to electrical sustainability, with the main target audience of home owners, apartment renters, and even landlords. However, from user testing and stakeholder discussion, the real problem lay in children and young adults habits, and profile understanding of their sustainability. Using the Blended Spaces Framework I analyzed different things in the physical and generic space like toys, emotion, and health.

How might we highlight unsustainable behaviors at home?

How might we reward sustainable behaviors at home?

How might we create more awareness of unsustainable power usage for children and adults at home?

Prototyping: Design Fictions

In total 9 different storyboards were designed testing several solutions.

This storyboard identifies a feature set where users can view the state of their device, happy, normal, or sad. This is a  emotional design focusing on personification of your homes sustainability, to identify and create meaning around bad sustainable behaviors. This is a simple feature set which relies on external action to inhibit a change in state.  

The health of your device is then brought into competition, either between your household, locals, or an elementary school virtual classroom, returning the The Teacher user archetype.

device health

Johnny, Rich's son, sits in his room on a summer evening playing video games after class. He had his lights on and the AC on for several hours. Johnny loves video games, especially his Adaptlet. Suddenly, he notices his Adaptlet had become sad.

external action

Johnny has been through this before, last week he left his TV running with power and came home to a sad device. Right now he his frustrated with himself, and looks to his power ranking on his mobile device.


Johnny see's he his below his brother and sister. This is competition is reinforcing his desire to maintain a happy device. After some time, Johnny see's that his device has returned to normal.


To reward his great behavior he receives a power rank boost and returns to his rightful position above his siblings. This is where Johnny has a realization of his unsustainable actions, the Adaptlet can be seen indirectly as a teacher.

Prototyping: Measuring Design Fiction

Is this the right solution to pursue?


Strongly Disagree (1) - Strongly Agree (5)
This particular question analyzed "place" and how familiar, or relatable, it felt to the user. Thinking not only about technology, but how believable the environment felt. This helped back up the feasibility of the technology itself. Users of all ages were "delighted" by the storyboard. However, some users felt like this was impossible or "fantasy." taken with a grain of salt, anything is possible.


Not Complicated (1) - Very Complicated (5)
How complicated did the technology make the story? According to users, not very. complicated. But users did mention how did we know his device was sad, it was a bit abrupt. In the following storyboard, audio notifications were implemented, to give your device a voice.


Not Natural (1) - Very Natural (5)
Overall, the Adaptlet device was a success, and users felt like they would grow attachment. By design, if users were grew attachment to the device, they would be acknowledging all the user pain points and business goals identified during the discovery phase.

Adaptlet was moved into a more conceptual stage following testing of other features sets. If you would like this see them, reach out to me!

Conceptualizing Prototype

Persona A Task Flow

Following storyboard evaluation and data analysis, task flows were crafted to get a better feel of the contents of the product. User flows were tested with the appropriate persona. This was a great way to craft a sense of familiarity between the product and user. Mainly thinking about text content, headings, and context. How might we design this to build immediate trust and understanding?

Persona A Feature Set

A core benchmark was having a visualization of power consumption, over days, weeks, months. However, competitors designed this feature thinking about engineers, electricians, people with an advanced knowledge of power consumption.

Our business goal was to make this interaction fun, easy to digest, for people of all age and knowledge levels. This interaction model outlines the contents in the gamification, or daily power reading feature set.

User tests asked users what each text item meant to them as they navigated through the model.With an end total of 12 models with feature sets broken into subchapters.

These are a great tool for communicating with developers, identifying links, and user decision points.

Wireframing Prototype 

Sketching Wireframes

Wireframes had a focus on the users ability to have fun, learn, and create competition. A main goal during user flows, ixd models, and into wireframing, was crafting an interface  for users who played with friends, family, or solo. This wasn't an action RPG let’s be honest, the main core-loop was a reward system, triggered by real-world actions, and the interface needed to guide these rewards, and knowledge to the user.

Annotating Wireframes

Annotated wireframes identified a design system, and what component design felt better overall. The interfaces main goal, was to create a digest-able, and fun way to view your’s and others power consumption (reflected by scores).

A/B Testing

This helped identify what different users expected, parents vs. children vs. young adults. It was fun to hear people reactions to sad devices, and really got me thinking, would something like this actually make an impact?

Prototype: Compositional Layouts

Device Health Feature

The daily power reading was designed to incorporate power usage awareness, and a friendly approach to digest what your consumption means. How might we provide insight on power consumption aided through Adaptlet device health?

This feature set uses device health to provide a fun, and possibly rewarding experience. Activating once a day, the “DPR” displays power consumption, appliances, and your overall score increase (which could go down as well) for that day. And if you unlocked rewards, those would be presented as if you just scored some sweet loot in a game. It is a summary of your device health over a 24 hour period.

Clans Feature

Clans were designed thinking about family relationships and at home-room isolation. How might we better family relationships at home through sustainability?

This feature set allows users to compete with their family, friends, classmates and more, through your Adaptlet health scorers. This acts as an extension to the base Device Health data feature.

Daily Power Reading Feature

The daily power reading was designed to incorporate power usage awareness, and a friendly approach to digest what your consumption means. How might we provide insight on power consumption aided through Adaptlet device health?

This feature set uses device health to provide a fun, and possibly rewarding experience. Activating once a day, the “DPR” displays power consumption, appliances, and your overall score increase (which could go down as well) for that day. And if you unlocked rewards, those would be presented as if you just scored some sweet loot in a game. It is a summary of your device health over a 24 hour period.

Future Work

Adaptlet is still in Phase 1 of the Design, Development, Launch process and still needs a lot more testing. However, the story it told related to power consumption, electrical sustainability, and education of sustainable actions was so fun, and educational. Users had a great smile after every product introduction, and immediately craved a working device. However, there are electrical limitations related to AI and our homes power systems. What would this device look like if it were incorporated into the architecture and construction of homes. What types of  1% users would test this idea or fund a project like this? A massive Adaptlet into our homes power systems, that creates smaller Adaptlets for their rooms. What if users wanted two or more Adaptlets?

Honorable Design Mentions:

  • Sensors that identify user pressence in a room, either to say a physical “hello beep” like other devices of its kind have! or prompt to send the DPR when they might sit on the couch.
  • Thermometers to identify when user interaction with an AC could be necessary. Why would we want people to sit in a cold room all day? or not watch TV if  they want to? The device,  through AI, thermometers and sensors would be able to detect if a user is ACTUALLY being unsustainable. Adaptlet is not meant to annoy the user, only react when a user may be conscious of their bad behavior.
  • Cosmetics were designed to personify or customize your device. Yes, a reward system, did I mention it’s FREE. You earn these, you get them. As a user practices sustainable power activities at home, their level goes up and they unlock rewards, but their level can also decrease as a result of seasonal, or daily unsustainability. If there level drops below what an items required level to unlock is, they can still keep their reward.

    Cosmetics had an interesting brainstorm, where certain items could have abilities or score bonuses. Maybe in the winter, you can pop a digital coat on your Adaptlet for bonus points until you unlock something better.

    Rather than just simple items, how can cosmetics actually play more of a role than look cool.Costmetics did not get a UI visit due to time contraints and scope of work.