Flux: 3D Printer Operation app

UX Research, UI/UX Design, Visual Design

Intro

FLUX is a 3D printer allows people to print out and scan 3D models. The time I worked with FLUX team was after their successful Kickstarter campaign. They were going to produce the machine and create their 3D printer operation app.

Their target customers were both professional players and general people who were new to 3D printing.

Problems

Before jumping into doing design, I did competitors analysis, interviewed the users, and conducted the heuristic evaluation (The note was in Chinese) to understand the problems users encountered. The following were the problems of the competitors' apps I noticed:

The problems I noticed after research.

Those problems could be where we start to design the app.

Persona

Based on the research I did, I figured out two target customers:

The profiles includes the persona's career, age, frustrations, description and expectations.

Professional player profile.

Entry-level player profile.

Goals

Assumptions

I assumed that we should have two modes in the app: Advanced mode and quick-print mode. My assumptions were going to be validated after user testing.

Approach

User Flows

Creating user flows by text is the way I prefer since it is very easy to adjust the flows by copying and pasting. Creating user flows by text is the way I prefer since it is straightforward to adjust the flows by copying and pasting. The user flows would work as the reference while designing the real screen.

Creating user flows by plain text.

Wireframing

I created the wireframes for the user flows we had concern for and put them on the prototyping tool to test. There were two modes of the app. One is the advanced mode, and the other one is quick-print mode.

In advanced mode, users were able to configure the complex parameters like quality, fill, temperature, etc. In the quick-print mode, users were only able to change the basic settings like speed and material.

Wireframes for testing.

User Testing

Based on the assumption I made, we were going to conduct the testing with two groups to validate it - professional users and newbies. And, Both of the groups were going to play with these two modes.

Result

We observed that the professional users felt bored while using the quick-print mode since they wanted more control over operating the 3D printer. Professional users had in-depth knowledge of 3D printing, and they were very familiar with the parameters. Otherwise, when they were playing with the advanced mode, they felt satisfied and fun.

However, when newbies were playing with the advanced mode, they didn't know how to use it although we had provided the support. The advanced mode scared them. They felt more comfortable while playing with the quick-print mode than the advanced mode.

The result validated that if we would like to create an app which works for both professions and newbies, we should provide two different modes to satisfy the diverse needs.

Visual Design

The visual language inherited from the brand style while FLUX team were working on the Kickstarter campaign. Its colors were black, grey, and white. It is sharp and modern.

Improved the configuration process between the machine and the app.

In quick mode, users were able to set up the basic parameters.

In advanced mode, users were able to customize a lot of parameters in an advanced way.

When the printer was working, users could monitor the temperature and the progress.

Who Else was Involved in the Project

Product People, Frontend Developer, Hadrware Developer

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