Vivint Smart Home

Research, Product Design, and Design Strategy proposals for an in-house team at a mid-size Smart Home device company.
Working primarily as an Industrial UX designer, I collaborated strongly with researchers and digital UI designers to improve the existing suite of Vivint Products. While on the team, I weighed in on several in-progress projects and started new ones that contributed to Vivint's positive growth from a $100M revenue base in Utah-only customers to a $400M revenue with customers all across the West coast and breaking into the East coast US market.
My Roles

Industrial Design (hardware UX)
UX Researcher
UI Designer


Vivint Smart Home (in-house)
Launch Window


Ben Clement
Julie Manzi
Steve Boynton
Anita English
Tools Used

Fusion 360
Google Slides/Powerpoint
Vivint has a strong user base in its local region, selling a powerful suite of smart home electronics primarily to Utah customers. Based on a service tech installation model, each product is built as an enterprise tool on installation, which transfers to a user-maintained product after.

Because of this, costs are high and user adoption and affinity are low. During my time at Vivint, my role was to lower costs and define concrete steps for the brand to reach a larger market that wasn't already familiar with Vivint's brand and product suite.


Pet Protect

Vivint PetProtect is a smart home service that gives pet owners peace of mind by helping them keep track of their furry friends. With the help of advanced sensors and GPS technology, it can alert users when their pets leave designated safe zones, and even provide real-time location updates. This innovative service is the perfect solution for pet owners who want to ensure the safety and security of their pets, even when they're not at home.
User Research
The first step was to find out how Smart Home customers are using our competitor's products. Amazon Eero at the time was eating a large share of the market, having great parent brand awareness, and a built-in fleet of install technicians. Google nodes also perform a similar function, but with the added benefit of clean DIY install.

This research was conducted through UserTesting and Qualtrics, and the deck was presented to internal shareholders in June 2019
Research Insight #1
People worry about their pets, in a wide variety of ways – the worries are not the same for everyone, and vary by type of pet, and whether the pet spends time outdoors, alone etc.

The greatest worry for pet owners is pet loneliness.
Research Insight #2
65% of our pet-owning base has a fence or wall outside their property which effectively prevents pets from escaping, but only 44% of the external sample (more of whom are renters / lower income).
80% of dog owners and 50% of cat owners let their animals roam outside.
Research Insight #3
58% of Vivint customers who responded to a survey own a dog and/or cat. Of those customers, 30% have had a pet run away.

After loneliness, owners say the greatest non-health pet concern is them running away.
Profile Development
With this information, we develop profiles to present to internal stakeholders. It's important here to give a face to the people we're making this for - we refer back to these profiles at later stages, asking ourselves "what would help Max and Andrea?"
Design Sprint
Once this research is synthesized into meaningful insights and goals, it's time to organize a design sprint. Pairing up with Researchers and an Engineer, my role is to facilitate the actual design, while making sure the output is realistic for our engineers, and meets the user's needs.

We defined these 3 goals for the sprint:
Part of this project's value will be an internal proving of the DIY model. Vivint historically avoids the DIY customer base and instead uses expensive technicians - moving away from this will cut costs and bring value.
In order to maximize reach, we won't be developing any new hardware for this Pilot program. Vivint already uses OEM and third-party hardware under the CSA, and the pet products will operate under this as well.
Developed for
Mobile and Hub users
Most Vivint homes have a Smart Hub, but all Vivint customers have a phone that they use to arm and disarm their system. Previous software updates have hit one or the other system sooner. PetProtect aims to prioritize simultaneous deployment.
Low-Fidelity Modeling
Then it's time to sketch, focusing in speed and clarity of communication. Since the VIvint ecosystem is quite defined, the most important things here are seamless integration into the existing Vivint app interface, while directing users' attention to their newly-added features.
then, finally...
PetProtect Pilot
Emergency Alert System
When a pet escapes, PetProtect immediately notifies all Admin-level users on both Mobile and the Hub to let them know their options. Because PetProtect knows when pets are near a boundary, it's likely to catch a pet's escape, assisting in 311 tracking the pet down.

False triggers of this are easy to sort - any time a phone is near the collar, PetProtect goes into a Yellow alert state instead of red, allowing for an easy disarm.
Friendly Onboarding
As this relies on no technicians and instead on a full DIY process, we built a new onboarding interface that draws from leading tech UI like Windows to get users up to speed in bite-sized stages.
Indoor+Outdoor Behavior Monitoring
PetProtect also comes equipped with customized notifactions based on pet activity, location, and noise level. For busy parents and office workers, this keeps people connected with the animals they love.
Remote Voice interaction
& control
Allows for storage of voice commands and "chirps" to help pets not feel so lonely, and let parents interact while away.
Arm from Anywhere
Admin-level users can turn PetProtect on when needed, or off when pets will be coming or going. Integrates seamlessly into the Vivint interface where other systems are displayed and launched.
Pilot Feedback
After building an MVP software update and sourcing OEM hardware for the actual collar, we're reading to begin our real-world testing.

Because Vivint already has a strong arm of face-to-face salesmen and technicians, we have easy and direct access to our customers. By selecting from the respondents to our initial surveys, we found 50 households that could use the PetProtect functionality - giving them free product and giving us free insight into what our users want.
Learnings and Next Steps
The positive reception to the DIY system was extremely necessary to get stakeholders on board to have the product suite be less technician-dependent, overall cutting costs and expanding our market to areas where we don't have as many established technicians.

On the feature side, we learned some valuable lessons about pet tech - the main value driver is a runaway alert system. Safety is still the main draw of Vivint. But there is limited use and adoption for some of the more entertainment-focused features such as voice storage and indoor behavior monitoring. While these are fun features for a niche few, they aren't worth full product development or focus.

Finally, this Pilot Program was in itself a stress-test of Vivint's digital rollout capabilities in future updates. We proved out a system of live simultaneous updates to the Smart Hub and Mobile apps. Using the Pilot system as a wide-scale test was very useful to finding what was worth refining and what was worth shelving for later.

"It's really cool! Having the little notifications when he's around the house is fun for us."
"If Daisy ever ran away, I feel like I would at least know what do do with this."
"More please. This is a game-changer for [our family]!"
Other Projects
Spin Creations
UI/UX Web Design
Industrial Next
Enterprise UX/UI Design
UI/UX Web Design

Project 2:
"Yofi" Mesh Wifi Node

Based on the name of 2 of the engineers developing the software, the YoFi/Yofi Mesh node was one of the first projects I worked on.

When I came on board, the tech of the Node existed - it takes a WiFi signal and boosts it for other connected devices. While not useful for a small apartment space, the Node is extremely useful to keep strong connections to always-on devices like the Outdoor Camera which need to continue operating despite long distance from the main wifi router, or high WiFi traffic times like 5-9pm on school nights.

What wasn't defined, however, was the overall user experience that this device would come in. My role was to define how the user would have this device installed, whether it would be a single piece of hardware or needed auxiliary tech, and whether it could potentially be used by more advanced users to power and connect their own devices without the assistance of a Vivint technician.
User Research
The first step was to find out how Smart Home customers are using our competitor's products. Amazon Eero at the time was eating a large share of the market, having great parent brand awareness, and a built-in fleet of install technicians. Google nodes also perform a similar function, but with the added benefit of clean DIY install.

This research was conducted through UserTesting and Qualtrics, and the deck was presented to internal shareholders in June 2019
User Scenarios
Define where the product is being used
What common problems they have
Early ideas for product solutions to align on

This deck was presented to key stakeholders to kick off the project formally in July 2019.

Yofi Pilot Program

After defining our likely best product scenario, the next step was to create a small-scale Pilot Program to engage our customers directly and get quick feedback through a rough ID prototype. To do so, we built several electronic models and concurrently developed a DIY instruction manual to get our users aquainted with the technology.

Want to see more of my work?


Web UI/UX, Branding

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Toy Design, Hardware UX