Hugo

An intelligent voice assistant for the United States Postal Service

Context

MDes/MPS IxD Studio

Carnegie Mellon University

Fall 2021 (7 Weeks)

Team

Greg Chen
Anupriya Gupta

Laura Pedrosa

Roles

Strategy / Ideation

Exploratory Research

Concept Development

UI Wireframe

Video Production

Tools

Figma

Adobe After Effects

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Audition

Adobe Illustrator

Protopie​

The Process

1.5 week

01

Exploratory Research

  • Understanding the Client

  • Observation and Interviews

  • Analyzing current User Flow

  • Mapping Pain Points

2 week

02

Concept Development

  • VUI Integration

  • Storyboarding

  • User Journey Map

  • UI Wireframe

2 week

03

Designing Hugo

  • Identity

  • Visual Language

  • Visual Systems

  • Key Features

1.5 weeks

04

Production

  • Video Storyboarding

  • Visual Assets

  • Filming/Editing

Design for novel interactions between human(s) and a virtual agent for a company with mobile and kiosk operation based in Pittsburgh.

Project Objective

Concept Video

Hugo is an intelligent voice assistant for the United States Postal Service that personalizes and expedites your postal experience through multimodal interactions.

Hugo can...

Exploratory Research

After exploring businesses with kiosk and mobile components, we choose United States Postal Service as our client. Most people are not only unaware of the existence of a self-service kiosk, but also are not motivated to utilize the kiosks at the post office.

 

We saw opportunities in improving what is currently considered as mundane and cumbersome errands to an efficient and engaging interaction between users and USPS.

Why USPS?

The U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation with the most visibility to the public as a federal agency.

During our site visit to the Squirrel Hill post office in Pittsburgh, we observed people’s behaviors and interactions with the kiosk (or the lack of). We also held short interviews with a few customers and one employee to get a better understanding of people's usage, need, experience and expectations while visiting the post office.

User Research

Kiosk at the post office was under-utilized with limited functionality while operating separately from the mobile application.

01 Observation and Interviews

“Most people don’t use the self-service kiosk. They come straight to us to ask questions.”

- Postal worker

Some online reviews of USPS’s mobile application also revealed a few pain-points we can address in our design.

02 Web Eavesdropping

01 Multi-click login process

02 Missing features

03 Overall usability

Problem Space

User flow of mobile application functions merely as a directory to their mobile web.

01 Current Services

Kiosk is largely limited by its in-attentive software - leading to dead-end processes, even though it is fully equipped with necessary hardware.

Two services are not supporting one another in the current user journey. 

02 User Journey

How might we create a more efficient and comprehensible postal experience utilizing conversational UI?

03 Problem Statement

Voice User Interface

Integration of VUI to the postal experience can address the existing pain points while seamlessly integrating kiosk to mobile service.

Human-centered design

Concept Development

Storyboarding

Focusing specifically on a shipping experience, we scripted two different scenarios and developed Jane's scenario to create a user journey map.

User Scenarios 

Jane

Frequent user

Tech-savy

Family oriented

Shipping gifts

Robert

Novice user

Limited tech

Sight challenged

Cost conscious

We characterized conversation type between Jane and Hugo through journey mapping as well as defining necessary touchpoints within this multimodal interaction.

User Journey Map

Designing Hugo

Identity

Focusing specifically on a shipping experience, we scripted two different scenarios and developed one to create a user journey map.

01 Characteristics

Visual Language

We wanted the form of Hugo to reflect USPS’s brand but also its own identity. 

01 Form Making

Keywords

Paper

Bird

Fly

Plane

Flexible

Speed

Friendly

Lively

Simple

Agile

Playful

Geometric

Taking inspiration from the logo of USPS, we landed on a simple, minimalist design which mimics the shape of an envelope.

 

Rounded edges and an accent of red creates a playful and friendly image.

02 Motion Iteration

Visual Systems

While staying coherent to USPS’s visual identity with the use of its primary color and typography, we added icons, buttons and visual assets to further create an easily navigable interface.

01 UI elements

03 Motion States

Hugo’s final motions communicates its state in an intuitive and succinct manner, allowing users to easily recognize its status.

02 UI Structure

UI structure between mobile and kiosk screens are consistent, with progress bar, VUI/user dictation at the bottom, and task screen in the center.

Key Features

Hugo can be synced to the user's calendar and advises customers on future delays due to weather, holidays or calendar events. 

01 Predictive Experience

Hugo syncs a USPS account with other cloud-based accounts on your mobile to locate your contacts’ information to suggest helpful options.

02 Personalized Efficiency 

Hugo can give specific suggestions on size and types of boxes to be used based on the object a user is sending, saving customers time and money.

03 Helping hand

Using location, Hugo will send a login QR code when a user is nearby the kiosk, simplifying the onboarding process.

05 Simplify Onboarding

Hugo will remember the user's needs and suggest the Best, Fastest, and Cheapest option. If a user wants to make a change, it will adapt to the new needs.

04 Best Options 

If Hugo wasn’t able to understand the user's words, it shows what it heard on the screen, giving direct feedback to the user before another attempt.

06 Relevant Feedback

Hugo can process several requests in a single command, making the process more efficient.

07 Multiple Commands

01

Send timely reminders

Hugo can be synced to the user's calendar and advises customers on future delays due to weather, holidays or calendar events. 

02

Adapt to your needs

Hugo will remember the user's needs and suggest the Best, Fastest, and Cheapest option. If a user wants to make a change, it will adapt to the new needs.

03

Simplify onboarding

Using location, Hugo will send a login QR code when a user is nearby the kiosk, simplifying the onsite onboarding process.

04

Understand multiple commands

Hugo can process several requests in a single command, making the process more efficient.

05

Confirm your action

Once you drop off a package, Hugo will send you a confirmation notification to let you know that the package has been received.

06

Prompt suggestions

Hugo can enable users to easily share tracking information to their synced contacts via voice command.

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© 2022 Jamie SunJae Choi