Case Study


Using bluetooth and SmartPlugs for home automation.


Zuli uses bluetooth in a user's smartphone to control SmartPlugs – plugs connected to any standard outlet – to turn on and off anything! Our challenge was to design the app portion of Zuli.


Through customer research and interviews, we discovered what users wanted in the app: control of lights and electronics on a room-by-room basis as well as a way to monitor energy usage. We identified key features, both from these interviews as well as an exercise with the client. In this unique case, the hardware informed some of the cooler features like dimming and proximity (the ability for your lights to turn on when your phone is nearby!). Once these necessary capabilities were nailed down, we went through the process of designing the app itself.

We wanted to make it both simple for the most basic user, but with the ability to network several Smartplugs for the 'power-user'.


After several iterations, we designed an app that would control the smartplugs, monitor energy, and allow a user to ‘set-it-and-forget-it'. We also designed the content structure for Zuli's website once the product would become available.