Sep - Dec 2018
INFO 365: Mobile App Design
Pear is a team project to design an original mobile OS and design system for a foldable mobile device for 15 core applications to be built upon.
Flip phones may have been dethroned once before, but trends are ever-changing; after all, Microsoft and Apple recently filed patents for foldable mobile devices. Our design team explored an OS reimagined and tackled a new challenge of designing for a foldable device with dual app mode as a key feature — hence the name Pear (Pair).
We felt that there was a need for a design system even in an all-designer team, especially since we were designing for a concept that doesn’t have much preexisting work to learn and adapt from. We wanted to reduce any disjointed experiences by developing and sharing a comprehensive design language — an ecosystem — to work from.
Functional. Functionality should guide the visual design.
Familiar. New device, familiar conventions — one less thing to learn.
Distinctive. Visually distinctive from the systems that exist.
We made these core components as symbols in the Figma library, so that designers can create mockups rapidly while adhering to the design language.
These sample screens show the usage and placements of some of our core components, as well as provide a sense of the look and feel of the design language for the designers to understand.
core app: health
After creating the design system, I worked with a team to wireframe a health app that would fit right in the ecosystem. I was responsible for the Dashboard screen in particular, which also functions as a quick overview of stats for the day. I included contextual information about key data for the user and utilized colors consistent with the accent color of each feature for the cards.
takeaways & reflection
Pear was an interesting project — I got to work with a different group of designers each sprint, which was exciting and a challenge at the same time.
This was also my first time designing an OS. Throughout our sprints, we found that the time constraint of each sprint only allowed us to focus on our designs for portrait mode, so I didn’t have a chance to truly work with the foldable device. While I wish that we could have tackled the challenge more deeply, I appreciate that we chose quality over quantity in terms of mockup screens.
Lastly, I would have liked to include more design elements in the design system. Nonetheless, creating a design system and seeing other designers utilize it to create apps that fit right in the ecosystem was an incredible experience that helped me develop a deeper appreciation for the role of design systems in design.