Buddy Platform Overhauls UX With User-Centric Approach
Buddy launches a new product design and user experience for commercial property owners and managers to conserve energy.
In 2018, Buddy Ohm, a leader in IoT and cloud-based technology, engaged GenUI to redesign the look and feel of its IOT system serving commercial real estate property owners and managers by measuring the environmental footprint of buildings.
The data collected for analysis of the environmental footprint was originally projected on screen in its raw state, which looked presentable, but didn’t line up well with what property owners and managers needed. The data showed metrics around sustainability and the virtues of “green” but what users really needed was solid proof of cost savings and compliance with mandatory reporting requirements rather than a feel-good ethical position.
The client company had a lot of talented developers, but no one with specific design experience; and they knew better than to improvise. Enter GenUI. GenUI deployed an Engineering Pod– a small team of experts who in this case were UX specialists – to support the firm’s redesign effort.
The first challenge that GenUI faced was to understand what users were really trying to do with the product, and how they were interacting with it. After GenUI interviewed and observed Buddy’s property owners and managers in action, they realized there were two distinct user sets: those unfamiliar with the data who needed rudimentary visualization, and data scientists much more immersed in the data with more sophisticated requirements. GenUI analyzed their findings and built a matrix/framework for how to bridge the gap from current state to ultimate design – with user tasks for both types of users as the bedrock of the solution. They shared the framework with Buddy’s software developers, marketers and business teams, all of whom applauded GenUI’s user-centric approach.
Just as GenUI finished framing their thoughts, one of Buddy’s developers decided to experiment with the visual ideas that the code manifested, taking a part of the UI that was fairly hidden and bringing it to life based on the new framework. That work served to prove out that these new ideas were something Buddy wanted to build on. It also made them realize that the scope was larger than initially planned because certain fundamental elements in the original product were not thought through entirely.
The next challenge was to execute the approach using the spirit of agile methodology. GenUI tackled “one corner” each week to show progress and chip away at the solution in iterative steps. They prioritized backend requirements so Buddy’s developers could manage their time, and conducted user testing with existing customers to ensure the solution matched up to their needs as it shaped up.
Charles Eliot, then VP of Product at Buddy Platform, stated, “GenUI’s input was fantastic. Design is always a dialogue. It’s a dialogue that involves the people who are going to use the systems and the people who build them. The best evidence of trust is the ability to have a good conversation.”
“GenUI approached our problem with high skills combined with humility for the journey ahead, which resonated with me.” Charles Eliot, VP of Product, Buddy Platform
About Buddy Ohm
Buddy Ohm is a resource monitoring solution that simplifies building operations and provides peace of mind by harnessing real-time utility and operational data to reduce or mitigate risk and improve operations, savings and sustainability. Buddy Ohm is a division of Buddy Platform Limited, a leader in IoT and cloud-based technology that provides simple, affordable and engaging solutions for commercial real estate owners and managers to make their spaces smarter and their occupants more efficient, environmentally-aware and informed.
GenUI is a software product engineering firm solving complex technical challenges for technology and software companies – or those who want to become them.
We provide an environment for our employees and our clients that is conducive to innovation.
Our knowledge center and community of excellence endows everyone on a project team with the best and most current thinking about software product engineering, and our Tech Radar provides focus and perspective on enabling tools and technologies.