CLEAN DESIGN FOR CLEANER AIR
Studio Volpi designed the hardware, the software and the entire user experience of Teqqo’s ultimate air purifier.
Teqqo is a an Italian innovative med-tech company, concentrating primarily on wellness and healthy lifestyles. With a strong scientific background, Teqqo creates products that are possibly among the most advanced in the market. Studio Volpi was recently set on a mission to provide a tailor-made “dress” for Teqqo’s avant-garde air quality technology in the shape of a domestic air purifier, as well as creating its software, a dazzling user interface and designing the entire user experience, also developing a dedicated app.
Understanding is already designing
As with every project concerning highly technological products, the Studio’s multidisciplinary competencies were instrumental in delivering solutions that were both perfectly adapted to the technology involved and aesthetically attractive and modern, conveying a sense of quality and soundness.
The first step consisted in perfectly understanding the science behind the product and how it all worked together by thoroughly analysing the entire process and the individual components. This initial approach was crucial in defining the possible physical arrangement of the components within the final product’s casing, giving designers a clear idea of the layout constraints in terms of space, architecture and also materials.
The client’s brief included a request for two distinct versions of the purifier, one more on the premium side, and the other more accessible. The distinction needed to be visible, while both models still had to express total reliability and technological superiority with respect to most products on the market.
Designing the perfect user experience
A further element characterising Teqqo’s air purifier is that it was conceived as a connected device operated from a dedicated app on the user’s smartphone. Manual commands on the unit itself are in fact only a backup, and the whole user experience, including the original icons and graphic interface developed by the Studio, was meant to be “connected” right from the onset of the project.
Everything was drawn up from scratch, from hardware specifications to HMI design, to cloud architecture and app development, with connectivity offering great flexibility and opening up different scenarios, with both B2B and B2C solutions, also in terms of maintenance and consumables.
Here again Studio Volpi’s eclectic set of competencies allowed Experience designers and software developers to work hand in hand with designers and engineers, with constant mutual feedback and cross contamination, a rather unique situation that brought valuable synergies to the project.
The shape of clean air
While air purifiers are commonplace in some parts of the world, especially in industrially developed societies where the quality of the air in large cities is dramatically problematic, they still are not that popular in Europe.
The choice fell on a familiar shape, a cylinder or “tower”, associated to home automation and latest-generation fans, both to provide reassurance as to the context and usage and immediate recognition as a high-tech connected device. The brand and the sales channel chosen, Italy’s chemist shops retail network, provided an authoritative scientific aura and conferred Teqqo’s air purifier the trustworthiness of a medical device.
The true claim of superior quality
Teqqo’s implicit claim of superiority with respect to most products available through general stores or domestic appliances outlets, also conveyed by the premium design and the choice of the retail channel, needed to be convincingly supported and explained.
The Studio had this specific objective in mind when designing the website associated to the product. With the help of clear, intuitive animated graphics, site visitors learn about the different steps in filtering and purifying ambient air.
The site explains the physics and the chemistry behind every phase of the process, from the pre-filtering, to the electrostatic precipitation and the subsequent further treatment through the combined action of UV photocatalysis and titanium dioxide, a process inspired by nature. The overall result being the removal of even the smallest particles and of virtually all germs and contaminants.
Simple and intuitive to use
Studio Volpi developed the UI app with simplicity in mind, making for the easiest possible remote operation while providing users with all the information about the status of the device as well as detailed and easy-to-follow instructions for all maintenance functions.
The same icons as the ones used in the app are duplicated on the essential set of commands installed on the device itself, making it easy to transition from one to the other while allowing for a clean, minimalist and elegant design.
The app does not only represent the perfect tool to control and operate the air purifier, but it also provides real-time information about the quality of the ambient air, constantly monitoring the most relevant parameters.
Creating a brand from scratch
The Teqqo project was particularly emblematic of the Studio’s unique capability to offer clients a complete product journey, starting from their own innovative ideas and existing technology to design, create, and engineer a finished product, a whole brand and the entire experience around it. In this case the initial step consisted in supporting the client in finding a name, and subsequently developing a brand identity, its storytelling, and creating the most suitable visual language.
Next in line were designing a logo, and compiling a comprehensive brand manual as a reference tool in order to ensure consistency in how the Teqqo brand was to be presented across various channels and materials.
Graphic consistency across all visual materials, with a strong brand connotation, was given by the concept of the blue “whirl” or ribbon, evoking a gust of fresh, clean air, serving as a signature element in all of Teqqo’s visual communication.
Studio Volpi developed the storytelling around the technology, but also with regard to its possible and diverse applications in domestic and public spaces, anywhere clean air is needed. Finally, the brochure and single-page web site served as a valuable support in presenting the Teqqo start-up project to stakeholders and potential investors.
The power of diversity
Teqqo’s freestanding domestic air purifier was yet another example of Studio Volpi’s ability to understand and interpret the needs of its clients, even of the most technologically focussed. Thanks to the quality and the variety of its in-house expertise, the Studio can successfully take on any project involving design, engineering or UX, and often all of them at the same time, aiming to exceed the concept of innovation.