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Timeline -

12 weeks

Tools Used - 

Figma
Adobe_Photoshop
google-docs

My Role in my Team - 

Problem Synthesis, Understanding users, Data gathering, Data Analysis, Brainstorming, storyboarding, User flow, Information Architecture, Low and High Fidelity Prototypes, Evaluation, and Testing.

Client Requirement

"How might we unlock additional value for our personas to generate recurring revenue above and beyond our current hardware sales + paid access subscription model?"

GOAL - Design a business model beyond paid access.

Problem Statement

“How might we enhance the ease and seamlessness of property maintenance 
for a property manager and it's residents?”

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Client - Zentra

Product: Shield +

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A Sensor-Based Predictive Maintenance System for multi-family apartments.

Zentra is a seamless security solution designed to solve the everyday problems of shared property access. It is the convergence of exceptional security and convenience.

The exponential growth of multi-family properties in the US comes with its challenges. While it may not be possible to address all these challenges at once, we can focus on trying to solve a part of it. Maintaining large properties entails significant costs, but leveraging modern technologies can substantially reduce the thousands of dollars spent on maintenance.

THE PROBLEM: Increase in maintenance costs in multi-family apartments and delayed repairs

THE SOLUTION: A pre detecting device that keeps track of all major machines and detects any issues beforehand

IMPACT:  Lowered costs and profits for owners

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Research

DESK AND MARKET RESEARCH

01

Properties spend thousands of dollars each year to repair machines and other property damages. While it can completely not be prevented, there is a chance of reducing costs by using preventive methods. 

efore examining our competitors, we wanted to closely analyze the market we're operating in. This involves understanding the market's composition, projecting its future scope, and providing some supporting statistics. In 2018, there were 56.15 million multifamily homes in the United States, with this number projected to reach 155.25 million by 2023 [Reference]. Typically, operating expenses consume 35% to 50% of the gross operating income from rent in multifamily properties[Reference]. 

The Smart Home Security Market is expected to reach $112.6 billion by 2032, growing at a 16.2% CAGR, according to Allied Market Research. As the modern security industry becomes increasingly essential with the industry's growing population, our goal is to brainstorm ways to contribute to this business and further expand the market.

For our competitive Analysis, we completed a detailed analysis of the companies Securitas, Dormakaba, Kisi, HID Corporation Assa Abloy, and sister companies owned by these companies. Considering online learning is a huge market, a lot of companies provide similar services. We looked into various such companies but picked four companies that came close to our clients as competitors. 

To read more about our desk research - Click here

PRIMARY RESEARCH

Maintenance of any property primarily impacts three groups: the residents, the owners, and the maintenance staff. Each group experiences different effects. The common core problem, identified through understanding the pain points of all three parties, is: "If only they knew the problem earlier." 

We spoke to 10+ residents and 3 property owners resulting in some similar issues from each Interviewee. 

What our Residents said...

“ It took 3 days for my Fridge to get fixed, we just had to move things from the vent!! 
WE LOST A LOT OF FOOD THAT WEEK! “

“I don’t know what exactly is happening after I have reported a maintenance request, is it even received?”

“ My water pipe broke like 3 times last winter because I forgot to turn on the faucets!“

What our owners said...

“ we receive like 3-4 requests a day and 120-200 a MONTH, few of them are really silly (P.S -I Know I’m not supposed to say that)”

“We receive work orders in units, but issues outdoors go unnoticed for days! ”

“Most of the requests we get can be solved within a minute or two and some can be avoided if the residents are a bit more careful”

Subsequently, we analyzed the data by employing Affinity Mapping and Empathy Mapping techniques, structuring our findings accordingly. We then created personas for each stakeholder to understand their individual needs and goals. 

Research Analysis

02

After reading several articles and conversing with a few individuals, we have gathered crucial insights to establish a strong foundation for our project.

PAIN POINTS

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Our primary personas

are Property 

managers and Residents

But it also helps

the maintenance 

staff...

10

4

2

TARGET AUDIENCE

 Maintenance Staff

Property owners

Residents

Design Solution

03

After thorough consideration, brainstorming sessions, and receiving feedback from experts, we opted for our MVP solution, a pre-detecting maintenance software that keeps a check on all systems and detects issues in its initial stages that can be rectified before it gets worse. 

IMAGINE A SCENARIO

Running behind schedule, you find no water in the bathroom. The property manager explains a burst pipe will leave you without water for at least 4 hours. With only 20 minutes to spare, you must quickly handle cooking, showering, and head to the office.

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With Shield+, we detect potential pipe freezes early and automatically activate valves to supply hot water, ensuring a seamless morning routine. Residents and property managers are satisfied with the hassle-free experience.

How does the Solution work? - Technical term version

We aim to leverage cutting-edge sensor technology embedded in AI platforms such as Alexa, Siri, and others. Our goal is to create a predictive maintenance solution that utilizes machine learning to identify and address potential issues before they lead to equipment failure or service disruptions.

Let's look at the IOT Ecosystem Analysis to understand the process better. 

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How the solution help our users?

PROPERTY MANAGERS​

  • Reduced staffing

  • Reduced investment in new equipment

  • Streamlined reporting

  • Smoother property operations

  • Remote access to appliances and areas

  • Real-time property progress tracking from anywhere

RESIDENTS

  • Simplified issue resolution

  • Reduced wait times

  • Self Diagnosis

  • Real-time progress tracking for reports

  • Live reporting

  • Fewer problems

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE/ USER JOURNEY

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The Prototype

04

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INTRODUCING

Aa

Aa

#4A7658

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Hello, Claire! CD Building 845 Your property has an active alert! ! 1 Active Alert Buildin
Hello, Claire! CD Building 845 Your property has an active alert! ! 1 Active Alert Buildin

Alert System

1

Live Status/
progress Bar

2

Self-
Diagnosis

3

All alerts, all staff, carefully

designed and organized

under one place.

4

Unified
Dashboard

Progress bar of all emergency alerts on top. 

Maintenance prediction instant alerts with cameras to attend to ASAP. 

Self-Diagnosis and

self-repair to reduce unnecessary  maintenance requests.

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Business Model

05

Our solution will act as an additional revenue model for the company. A few possible revenue models are subscriptions, software licensing fee, and maintenance and Service.

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Multiple plans that suit the property manager - UPremium, Premium, Standard. Based on a number of sensors, maintenance, updates, and coverage of property.

We provide an all-in-one application with software and hardware integration!
Aid in extended life of assets, reduced maintenance cost.

How can we add Value?

  1. Partnerships with companies like MRI Software and sensors manufacturers.

  2. Provide software updates and service for hardware.

  3. Research and Development of smart systems.

     

In summary, it reduces the time dedicated to resolving minor issues and cuts down on property managers' expenses related to equipment downtimes through preventive maintenance. The US holds the majority share in the predictive maintenance market, constituting 35% globally.* Creating an accessible solution positions us as an early market leader, capturing a substantial market share.

Evaluation

06

We tested our product with 2 Property Managers and 5 Residents. 

PROPERTY MANAGERS​

  • The property managers loved the instant update feature of the sensors. 

  • Solving issues before they worsen saves a lot of money for the Property managers.

  • They were concerned about the "Check Camera" feature in the product. 

  • The property managers were concerned about the "self-diagnosis" feature in the hands of the residents. Wanted a more clear function and user flow for this feature. 

RESIDENTS

  • Residents found the self-repair and self-diagnosis feature the most helpful. Their concerns about how fast the issue will be resolved will be answered here. 

  • Residents were also concerned about the "check camera" feature in the product. 

  • Residents suggested d that they also wanted a live progress update of their maintenance reports. 

In conclusion, commencing with the refinement of the prototype in response to the feedback garnered during the evaluation phase, our iterative process involves continuous testing and evaluation with a broader user and expert base. Concurrently, we initiate the development of a framework for the subscription model, laying the foundation for the upcoming phases of our project.

Refelction

07

The highlight of the project was our intensive 1-2 weeks of brainstorming, culminating in a final 5-hour group call. This phase was incredibly educational for me, as I gained insights into different perspectives, meticulously examined each part of the solution, experienced a "eureka" moment, and more. Despite the intensity of the discussions, this remains the most memorable part of the project. Without that rigorous session, we wouldn't have achieved the solution we did. It was worth it. 

who made this project a success.

MEET THE TEAM

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fin.

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