Visual Design & Art Direction
Senior Product Designer
Huawei is a long time creative partner of ustwo, often reaching out to the agency to explore visionary design work.
We were asked to explore the visual direction of their Smart Home apps: the Recipe Create Platform and the consumer-facing SmartHome app.
In addition, we explored how a 3D space could be displayed and how recipes (automated and set device sequences) are visualised.
Establishing a Visual Direction
Over the years, many visual styles have been developed across Huawei's suite of digital products. There is an ongoing effort and balancing act across Huawei to develop the master brand whilst giving room for their digital products to have their own identity.
A big factor is the cultural difference and what some may find appealing in one country vs others. Huawei's user base is mainly in China, where there is a stronger push to develop more vibrant and experimental visual directions.
The balancing act is in allowing this side to be expressed in Huawei's digital ecosystem whilst remaining as utilitarian as it needs to be, being that it needs to emcompass a massive range of functionality.
Drawing inspiration from the global design system
Huawei's vision statement is: “Our vision is to bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world”
The elements on the right, which were pulled from the ongoing design system work, communicate visual themes such as energy, innovation, connection & simplicity.
Essential themes that we brought into our visual exploration.
Visual Elements from the Master Brand
Our vision is to bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world. "
Active streams showing connected devices
Recipe Create Platform: The App for Professionals
The Recipe Create Platform is a tablet and desktop app that allows professional consultants to define and program smart devices for homebuyers within new homes.
The platform allows all types of devices, such as speakers, lights and even showerheads, to have automations programmed based on actions such as a sensor sensing a specific individual walking into a room, or a the temperature reaching a certain level.
Entrance Animation & Cascading Navigation
As the app starts up, we see the blue material central to the Smart Home identity moving freely. This then leads to our exploration of the current room unfolding into view.
The cascading navigation is then shown, revealing additional panels without obscuring the 3D view, which was a key structural change we put forward to improve navigation within the app.
In this example, we see the highlighted devices which appear in the focused recipe in the recipes panel.
SmartHome: The Consumer App
To demonstrate a consumer facing app, we developed some key screens to showcase how the visual language could come to life.
Home Screen & Automations
The homepage was to show a snapshot of recent automations as well as encourage users to create new recipes. This screen shots a populated view that would allow the user to jump in and edit their existing recipes.
The inspiration section would be where users could get ideas on how to set up their smart devices and create bespoke recipes.
The visual language we developed lended itself to simple connection visualisations and to showcase colour pairings.
We used example voice phrases to further connect the recipes to the intent and to assist in set up if new recipes.
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