︎ Work gallery
︎ About me

Typography at its best is a visual form of language linking timelessness and time. (Bringhurst, 2019)


︎Work gallery
︎About me

Typography at its best is a visual form of language linking timelessness and time. (Bringhurst, 2019)


Laboratory Energy Monitor
Product Design & Management

The goal of this project was to build a display-mounted dashboard visualizing energy consumption data in graduate laboratories in an effort to help viewers make informed decisions regarding their energy usage.

Primary Challenge

The primary challenge was identifying the most effective metrics and physical medium that influence user behavior and the most impactful potential actions a user could take to impact their energy consumption.
Project Definition

The Office of Sustainability approached our team with the preliminary problem of biology academic labs consuming large amounts of energy due to using appliances called Fume Hoods.

After doing a few interviews with both our stakeholders and actual lab graduate students, we realized that it wasn’t a lack of willingness to conserve energy, but a lack of awareness.

Prior Art & Research

In terms of features, there were two factors of consideration. What data do we show and in what medium do we show it?

We had a previous project, also done by myself, to reference. In that project, a dashboard displayed on a wall mounted monitor showed the energy consumption, energy source, and room or outdoor temperature. Though that project resulted in a 13% decrease in energy consumption among participating students, we wanted to make sure we didn’t make any assumptions regarding our new users.

Coordinating with the Office of Sustainability, we conducted both a user research session and an environmental research session with our pilot laboratory. We determined a few things:

Physical Medium

First, we came up with three concepts for the medium for the application:

  • Mobile application
  • Wall-mounted display
  • Web application

From observing our users, we determined that the most useful form factor of the product was a web application rather than a physical display. Our users were graduate students who spent most of their time in the lab at their desks looking at laptop or desktop screens for work. As a result, they had a lot of screen space for extra information as well as a preference for having energy information easily accessible.

So we decided on building a web application sized for half a screen or for a tablet, since this was how many of our users organized their windows.

Most impactful data

Second, we determined that fume hoods and appliances were the largest consumers of energy within the lab. As a result, we adapted the interface to draw attention to these items alongside the total energy consumption.

Finally, users revealed that, as part of their lab coordinators efforts to be energy conscious, there were weekly meetings held between many lab coordinators to discuss energy consumption within the building. So, to drive uptake of the product, we built in a feature for generating printable weekly energy reports.

Product Iteration & Development

As both the product designer and manager of the project, I produced a feature list and workflow that I then used in our kickoff meeting to properly schedule the project based on technical and time constraints.

We started with ensuring functional API integrations with the pilot lab on the development side while testing workflow mock-ups with our users. This was then followed by building the UI and back-end to support the finalized version of the product interface.

We ran several rounds of prototyping followed by user testing, which we then iterated on, resulting in the UI you see on the right. The final iteration of the app was deployed on the Office of Sustainability’s servers and then taken over by their own development teams at the end of the project.