The 2 years of my pregnancy with Zenbo could be broken down into 3 main phases (trimesters) -
I was fortunate enough to be one of the founding design team members when Zenbo was just an idea. I was involved in a long ideation process with lots of market research and analysis on modern day robots and presented insight synthesis for ASUS's envisions. I, along with 3 other UX designers, created multiple personas representing both the robot and the targeted families for preliminary design reviews directly with ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih.
We imagined where this robot could be at in a household - on a desk, on the floor,. I was specifically told to think outside of the box, as if we didn't have to worry about any potential technological constraints.
Hundreds of design proposals going to the trash and making me very upset and it was really a bottle-neck stage of my life. However, I, along with my teammates, pulled through it together and after numerous proposals we were able to find a clear direction and ultimately design a face that encompasses both cute and futuristic.
Proposal 1: Symbolic, flat, cute
Proposal 2: Abstract, neon light, 3D
Proposal 3: Futuristic, digital, more direct emotions
Final Design: Futuristic, 3D, direct and dramatic emotions, realistic
Rapid brainstorming, ideating, designing, executing and implementing. It was a real tight schedule for the app design-implementation stage, so I single-handedly designed 7 in-built apps plus Zenbo UI's common interface aesthetics.
Initially my UI design proposal got chosen by the Head of Design, so I was given the responsibility to oversee my teammates, making sure other UI designers are creating UI consistent to my styleguide, and maintaining and building the common UI library. I learned a great deal and enjoyed the process a lot since I got to practice my leadership skills and lead a few designers even though I was still considered very junior.
Prior UI proposals before face design was finalized
Final UI Design
I became the lead designer creating and maintaining the Zenbo design system and all of it's UI components, giving me a chance to lead a team of 4 other UI designers to create a system of 30+ native apps using a consistent design language. Check out the Zenbo Design Style Guide that I helped write!
This is the Zenbo programming game for children and was designed and developed within two months for the live Zenbo demo at Computex 2016. It is now a fully functional app. Watch the Computex demo video here!
I created this detailed diagram of the whole journey of Zenbo's design development and presented it to the all Zenbo product teams and the board and chief executives of ASUS. This diagram showcases the back and forth of our numerous iterations and technical challenges before we landed on our final design.
Thinking back on all the hardships and numerous late nights spent iterating and restarting an idea, I'd say that I'm very, very appreciative to have the opportunity to build this product. Having no professional experience in developing a product, let alone a robot, I was faced with immense pressure but in end end was able to pull through a difficult task met with a great deal of unknowns.
I not only got to elevate my design skills, I also got to learn and practice my leadership skills from co-leading a team of designers under very tight deadlines. I learned a great deal from this experience and I oftentimes say that this was the project that changed my life. Feel free to ask me more questions about Zenbo!