Zensors is the result of years of research conducted by the Future Interfaces Group, a research lab out of the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The technology leverages the power of crowd computing, computer vision, and machine learning to provide readily accessible tools for collecting and analyzing visual data. Researchers involved with Zensors saw potential in developing it as a product that would democratize computer vision, making it easier than ever before to develop a deeper understanding of a physical space.

Our team was tasked with determining the most compelling product market fit for Zensors, focusing our design and development efforts on creating an valuable experience for users within a particular market vertical to optimize for adoption. From there, we would need to design and build a interface to layer on top of the existing Zensors infrastructure, paying close attention to providing the best possible experience for our target users.
We approached this challenge in a few ways to ensure our work would closely align with a specific set of users and needs, and guarantee we could deliver a meaningful set of deliverables to our clients. To do this, we needed to:
  • Identify a market fit for Zensors and corresponding set of users
  • Design an interface and influence product development direction to support user needs
  • Identify potential pilot program partner(s) to validate and expand product direction
  • Build a minimum viable product as a key component of the pilot program and product promotion experience
  • Conduct iterative design, development, research cycles to build out feature set and backlog
In our initial research and discovery phase, we began our work with a broad look at possible applications for Zensors. We identified several potential fits for the product and then conducted secondary and primary research to establish a strong use case that would provide a credible application for Zensors and a valuable product for target users. Building from there, we began to establish a visual concept for how a user might interact with this system and drafted wireframes and a component library of elements and patterns we knew the system would need.
This initial market research and customer development effort led us to focus our product strategy on the coworking space industry more broadly. Specifically coworking space community managers or staff, leadership, and subscribers. Zensors is positioned to provide the most value to organizations that need to monitor important, but non-emergent, events in a physical spaces over time. The coworking industry has a large appetite for technology adoption and is in need of actionable data with which to make decisions that support daily operations as well as longer term strategy around optimal space utilization. The work ahead would require us to continue to define and evolve the visual language we began to establish in our first phase and use that to build a functional interface that would empower users to leverage all that Zensors has to offer.