February 2015 - October 2019
In 2015 I joined Airware, a startup on a mission to build an operating system for commercial drones. In my time there I designed the initial version of their cloud and mobile applications, grew and led the Design team, and helped establish a Design culture within the company.
In Fall of 2016 we set out to simplify the experience of collecting data with a drone in order to make our product accessible to less tech-savvy operators.
We began with basic paper prototypes of the software and equipment and eventually built a proof-of-concept application to test the experience and get buy-in from internal stakeholders. The final product took the form of an iOS application with a workflow that required less training time, reduced data transfer errors, and cut operation time roughly in half.
This workflow was designed to meet the needs of our residential rooftop inspection customers. They were using our system to identify hail damage and needed higher resolution imagery than what our orthomosaics at the time could offer.
We designed a workflow and interface that enabled novice operators to position the drone above the area in question and then press a button to trigger an autonomous descent. The drone would use it's sonar sensor to descend to 2 meters above the roof, capture detailed imagery, and then return to a safe altitude.
I designed the initial version of the Airware web application, and over the next three years I worked with a number of teams to add features as the company tested waters with early adopters in the insurance and AEC industries.
This application enabled users to plan, request, and track drone flights. When flights were completed, it would walk the user through the process of uploading data so it could be processed and rendered for analysis. Once processed, the tool offered a suite of analytics tools including: annotations, area and volume calculations, and time-series comparisons.
When I came to Airware the operator interface was a .NET application targeted towards Aerospace and UAV professionals. As the company shifted away from this user base we made a number of UX enhancements to make the system accessible to a wider group of operators.
Some of these enhancements included job assignment, an improved aircraft connection workflow, an integration with NASA’s Unmanned Traffic Management System, and a guided post-flight data upload flow.
The App Core was a quad-core computer that connected to Airware's autopilot. It enabled third-party developers to create applications to control the vehicle and it's sensors.I was responsible for the outer enclosure design. I worked with the mechanical and electrical engineering teams to design something in Solidworks that was durable and looked good.