Smart home device that reminds users to grab an umbrella when it detects unfavorable weather

Fast Facts


UX Designer and Project Manager

Group Size:

5 people


4 Months


  • Pencil and Paper
  • Photoshop CC
  • Adobe XD
  • InVision


  • Interviewing
  • Analytical Research
  • User Archetype Development
  • Task analysis
  • Project Management
  • Scenarios and storyboarding


This project proposes an IoT prototype that reminds users to pick up their umbrella before heading out the door. In addition to this, the mobile application associate to this would allow for customization and fit the user's preferences.

Link to Prototype

the app in the real world
The final umbrella stand rendering in the real world

The Challenge

Students already carry a lot on their shoulders. The price of a college education, the pressure from our peers, the expectations of our professors. While we couldn't lighten those loads, we can control what we physically carry in our backpacks. Most students can't compromise on carrying things such as a laptop, textbooks and writing tools because they are essential for a student's success. When asked, more often than not, students tended to always carry their umbrellas with them rather than do the arduous work of checking the weather every day prior to stepping out. Some students just look at the two-digit number that is the temperature because that all that they have time for. Every second you spend on checking the time or the weather could be better put towards other more important tasks. It makes sense that you would keep your umbrella in your bag, just case it does. One less thing to worry about, right?

Exisiting Solutions

Literally check the weather

You could be spending your time on more important tasks than checking the weather on your phone or computer. Every second counts!

Ask someone around

Although takes quite a lot of time, a peer could provide much more details than a phone screen. Potential problems are if there is not a peer available to ask.


Bill “Too much on my mind”:

  • Is regaluraly forgetting things at home and is constantly going back home to grab extra things.
  • Perhaps has a lot of things in his mind that makes checking the weather less of a priority
  • Perhaps has a lot of things in his mind that makes checking the weather less of a priority

Sydney “The Minimalist”:

  • The one rule that she always followed by was "the less, the better" when it came to taking things with her when she left her house. In sum, only the bare essentials for the day
  • She would constantly plan her day out to figure out what exactly she needs vs wants to bring with her
  • Is always on her feet, therefore, cannot bring a ton of stuff either on her back or her shoulder.

Kale “Morning Rusher”:

  • Never has enough time to do everything he has hoped for before heading out the house. Calculates the maximum amount of time he has before he needs to leave the door
  • Brings extra things with him just in case he might need them throughout the day. Lives by the "Better safe than sorry" mantra when it comes to packing
  • Doesn't even think about checking the weather because those are precious seconds that could be used by other means.

The Proposed Solution

To help prevent people from forgetting their umbrellas, a "smart" umbrella stand is proposed. This stand would be right by the entrance. This product has two components: an internet-connected umbrella stand and a companion mobile application for configuration. The stand would check the weather conditions when it detects the user is leaving their house through proximity sensors. Then it would alert the user through sound from the stand to pickup their umbrella. Through learned behavior, remembering to check the weather to bring an umbrella will become a thing of the past.

User Testing

Quick-Up was designed with one primary thing in mind–help the user find and play a game faster. The main functionality of the application is the ability to either join a pick-up game that someone else created or create one that is specific to their needs. When searching to join a game, it considers the distance of the game, when it was created and how many players needed.

Sample of Survey Squestions

  • How often do you check the weather before leaving your home? Why or why not?
  • How do you check the weather?
  • What details do you look at when you check the weather?
  • Do you use an umbrella? Why or why not?
  • What percentage of rain would lead you to bring an umbrella with you?
  • What type of technology (if any) do you use to keep organized?
  • Ability to find out what other users are attending via a third-party service like Facebook.

Design Evaluating Questions

  • How does this transition process feel?
  • What are some weaknesses of these processes?
  • Asked for general weaknesses and then narrowed them down by asking more specific questions
  • What are some strengths of these processes?
  • Asked for general strengths and then narrowed them down by asking more specific questions
  • Questioned if the user would use this app, how often, and why.


Based on the problem statement, My group and I sketched sketched how we believed the stand and application to look.

Sketches of possible workflow of the application Sketches of possible workflow of the application team's sketches

High Fidelity Prototype

After iterating on the sketches, this was the final version of the application

Link to prototype

Final Screens

These show how the user first begins setting up their device and how a sample user's Settings screen would look
These screen shows the difference between first opening up a device and how a finished screen would look. Here, has access to the upcoming weather and the battery and storage capacity of the water accumulation tray
top side view render
the bottom portion of the model with the sliding tray coming out
the removable bottom tray that holds the water