The Internet of Things is becoming a highly discussed subject with new devices coming to the market all of the time. Although many of products have yet to become mainstream kickstarter is full of connected devices that are waiting to change how daily life occurs. I was challenged to create and pitch an original product in five weeks. My partner and I decided that we wanted to make an item that was subtle and personal, something that will make their life just a little bit better.

After a significant amount of research we decide to create a connected vision board, thus Sightglass was born. Sightglass allows users to collect media remotely and add it to their vision board. By having a digital board users can add multimedia content, keep their homes free of clutter, have more privacy of who sees their board, and have multiple boards in the same place.


The challenge

We were challenged to think through a plan to bring a connected device to market. This item was to be original and stand out. We had five weeks to develop and pitch the idea. In our research we felt that many internet of things devices seemed impersonal and "tech for the sake of tech." We wanted to create something that would be personal and help solve a small problem in peoples’ daily lives.

The solution

Looking to our own lives, we decided we wanted to create a modern vision board. Vision boards are used to help people focus on their goals, collect thoughts, and make changes in their lives. They are often created by collecting magazine clippings and collages together to form a board. The boards are then placed somewhere where it can be seen to remind the person of their goals.

We wanted to take the traditional vision board and make it something mainstream. Sightglass allows people to organize their thoughts and focus on their goals by having the board front and center. Since it is a connected device users can gather content remotely from online, by taking photos or video, or by entering the text. This allows it to be clutter free. In addition, you can schedule your boards at different times of the day providing motivation when it is most essential.

The benefit of using Sightglass over a media collection website is that by having the glass hung up somewhere you can see it, you have your goals and reminders brought to you, not the other way around. In addition, unlike most collecting websites, Sightglass isn’t social. Your goals are personal and you don’t necessarily want everyone following you to know what you are adding to your board. This allows you to dream and plan more freely.

Since privacy is key with Sightglass, you can remotely hide your board your via the Sightglass app. This allows you to feel more open about what you have on your board and not worry about unexpected guests seeing a personal board.

Mapping our user

Adam and I worked together to create an empathy and customer journey map. By doing this we gained valuable insights to who exactly our user is. Our user is young, affluent, and likely urban. They are dreamers, but can have a hard time staying focused on their goals. A quote that came out when we were working on our empathy map was I don’t feel special. This was a big moment. Not only did we feel bad for our new friend Irene, but we realized the underlying goal of Sightglass was to help users achieve their goals to have a greater self worth.

Paper prototypes

After Adam and I worked together on the empathy map and customer journey, we broke off to divide and conquer. While Adam was working on the branding I started sketching and creating paper prototypes for the app. The prototypes included the steps for user onboarding, as well as four major task flows that a user would commonly come across: adding cards, browsing their cards, scheduling a board, and viewing their boards.

After creating the paper prototypes I reviewed the flow with another interaction designer, as well as a designer who specializes in iOS design. By walking users through the app I uncovered several small opportunities to create a better user flow.


After updating the screens from the feedback I received on the paper prototypes I created wireframes using Sketch. My goal was to get the wireframes to a point where we could conduct a simple usability test using the wireframes to test the functionality and task flow. After the wireframes were finished I created a click through Marvel prototype with three of the apps task flows.

User testing

A little over a week into our project we sat down with Kate, a fellow student, to do some user testing. Our goal is to see if the current flow of the app seems appropriate and to see if it was missing any features that a user would want to see.

Overall Kate found the app easy to use, but wanted to be able to add larger amounts of content faster. She found some of the features to be slower her down and that they were useful, but there should be a fast way to bypass them.

Take Aways

  • There needs to be a clearer labeling system for navigation

  • It should be fast and easy for power users to add a large amount of tiles quickly and easily

  • Many users may not want to crop their photos or edit their tiles when they are initially adding them

  • There needs to be a clearer labeling system for navigation

  • There should be clear user feedback when content is added or saved

  • Don't bring users back to the gallery after an item has been added

Branding and design


From the start of the project we wanted Sightglass to feel intimate and delicate, while still being approachable to a wide audience. Since vision boards are sometimes considered mystical or new age, we wanted to take advantage of that in that branding and go for a look that was both dreamy, modern, and forward thinking. To achieve this look we used clean lines, modern colors, gradients overlays, and an unique icon language to stay modern while adding interest.

The mobile component

Throughout the app, orange and pink are used to inform the users that they can interact with an item, while purple is used for navigation. Our primary focus was on our users being able to quickly add assets whenever they feel inspired, while making the app feel calming and inspiring.


We had the pleasure of working with the talented photographer Nelle Clark to shoot our video. Our goal was to create a dreamy feeling and to tell a story about how Sightglass can help you make changes in your life.The video would be seen on our website, as well as in our PR kit.