Lutron Smart Home App

Activity Viewer
for your
shade automation

First-phase app feature
for an automation vision


Lead UX Designer, 7 Months


Developer, PM, Senior Management
UX Researcher, Visual Designer


Diary Study, Workshops, Figma


0 → I vision experience for new technology
Product Strategy for a multi-phase feature
End-to-end design for mobile feature

Activity Viewer is the first-phase MVP for Lutron' automation vision enabled by the new technology - Natural Light Optimization.

With Activity Viewer you can
check your shade automation movements and decide if you want the NLO on.

You have an event 2:00-3:00 PM at Open Office East, check if the shade is going to interrupt?

Interact with the prototype to find out!

Lutron Electronics is a world leader in lighting control system

Lutron Electronics designs and manufactures more than 17,000 energy-saving lighting controls, automated window treatments, and total light management solutions for commercial and residential clients. Lutron Electronics products are sold in 100+ countries around the world.

For commercial, some larger clients include
New York Times Building, New York
Empire State Building, New York
Wimbledon Centre Court, UK
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Bank of China headquarters, Beijing
Shanghai Tower, Shanghai ...

For residential, Lutron systems are at apartments, palatial homes to hotels
White House, DC
15 Hudson Yards, New York
Windsor Castle, UK
Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore
Four Seasons, Saudi Arabia ...

Lutron Electronics is a world leader in lighting control solutions. The company designs and manufactures energy-saving lighting controls, automated window treatments, and total light management solutions for residential and commercial.

Founded in 1961, Lutron manufactures more than 17,000 energy-saving products, sold in more than 100 countries around the world. Lutron offices locate worldwide in London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing.

For commercial, some of the larger Lutron clients include New York Times Building, New York; Empire State Building, New York; the Wimbledon Centre Court, UK; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; the Bank of China headquarters, Beijing; Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, etc.

For residential, Lutron systems are at from apartments to palatial homes to hotels, including the White House, DC; 15 Hudson Yards, New York, and Windsor Castle, UK; Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore; Four Seasons, Saudi Arabia, to name just a few.


Helping Stagnant
Shades Sales

Lutron Shade sales hit a wall
because our shades' value isn't effectively
showcasing to customers
hence the business had 2 initiative:

Make Shades Smarter

➔ New Tech

Grow Market

➔ Expansion

Business Initiative

Expand New Tech
to Bigger Markets

Natural Light Optimization (NLO) is a system
that automates shades using
 User Input  and Calculated Direct Sun Time
to optimize natural light and avoid glare

Start Position


% Open

Direct Sun Position


% Open

End Position


% Open

Calculated Direct Sun Time

Time when the sun hits the facade

Start Time


End Time

9:00 PM

NLO was only available for a small market
this expansion to Roller Shades and Commercial Sites
will more than triple the current market

Tilted Shades

Residential Setting

Roller Shades

Commercial Setting


Abstract Ask to Concrete Strategy

I worked with business stakeholders to translate the initiatives into project goals and strategies

Business Goal

Align Business Expectations

Increase shade adoption by making shades feel smarter​

Ship an MVP by early 2024

UX Strategy

Harness the New Technology

Create a vision experience based on understanding of how Residential and Commercial Occupants interacts with the new technology-NLO.

Deliver an MVP for NLO that is a good start for users.

Step 1


Learn how users interact with NLO

Step 2

Vision Experience

Vision an Occupant Experience

Step 3

Product Strategy

Chunk down to an MVP and influence strategy

Step 4


Design the MVP and guard the scalability


Opportunities and Shortcomings of a
New Tech

Lutron has yet to explore how users experience NLO. Hence I conducted a large-scale diary study to research it systematically.

Diary Study

Set Up

The team as Dealers program NLO to user's system according to the data given


Philadelphia, PA

Shade Facing

South East

Start Position


% Open

Start Time


Direct Sun Position


% Open

Direct Sun Time


End Position


% Open

End Time

9:00 PM

Diary Study

Tested Experience

We mimicked the initially-envisioned experience that’s low-effort at users side and tested it on 20+ users (6 Residential Occupants, 10 Commercial Sites) for 2-3 weeks.

Dealers program NLO to the sites


Direct Sun Time


Occupants simply turn NLO on or off

Natural Light Optimization

Based on programming

Diary Study Protocol


Simple Solution to an Effortless Control

Both residential and commercial users like how once set up, NLO automatically took over 80% of their shade adjustments, fitting the mindset of "set it and forget it".

“I love how my shades are already opened when I get up and go to my living room”

a homeowner at a single home family

“… my monitor is not washed out in the afternoon now …”

a office building tenant, young working professional


Simplicity is not Spontaneous Enough

The experience was designed to create an simple automation experience. However, the simplicity causes issues due to not being spontaneous enough.

On-site Situation

Obstruction to Individual Shade

Natural Environment

Weather Integration
Temperature Detection

Purpose of the Area

Working Hour
Room Purpose

Research Synthesis

Common Shade Adjustment

Natural Light Management

Raise in the morning to light up the area

Lower when needed to avoid glare

Raise when the view is beautiful

Close at night for uninterrupted time

Heat Management

Lower when too hot

Resume when the day cools down


0 ➔ 1 for

I successfully proposed the concept of automation vision to business stakeholders. As it is user-centric, scalable, and fits business initiative.

Focus Expansion

Not just NLO, Automation

I proposed to extend the vision from NLO to the whole Automation as users view all self movements as Automation. With this expansion, we can systemize the experience and achieve the following opportunity:

Business Opportunity

Open up the door to the initiative to create smarter products

User Opportunity

Allow the 2 user pain points Feel Informed and Right Amount of Control


Time Clock

Natural Show


Third-party App

Manual from Others


JTBD Read-out

I advocated for the users by hosting JTBD read-out workshops. In them I empathized the team of business and development with compelling user stories.

Residential Homeowner

Feel Informed

When my shades move

I want to be aware of why they moved and when will they move again

So I feel in control to make informed decisions

Personalize without Fear

When editing automation

I want to not feel stressed trying

Because it requires trial and error before reaching the perfect automation

Temporary Input

When I want to break out from the automation

I want to be confident it's working and I'm not messing up with the automation

Because I don't want to feel trapped

Commercial Space Manager

Feel Informed

When occupants ask me the reason of movements

I want to know quickly and can adjust if needed

So that I feel like I'm in control of my job

Tweak without Fear

When tweaking for a shared space

I want to know how it affects occupants' experience

So I dont' interrupt occupants' activities

Temporary Input

When there are events require setups that are out of the automation

I want to be sure it is working at the intended time and will resume afterwards

So I don't need to stress and visit the app often


Ideation Session

I hosted ideation around a HMW thats inclusive of automation and NLO. The ideation workshops intentionally includes UX, dev, and business to make sure all functions are heard.


offer users an effortless automation that's at the balance of being
unobtrusive and attentive

Position Personalization

Override Alert

Flexible Time

Event Editor

Activity Log

Timer for All

Natural Show Integration

Time Clock +

Automation by Area

Experience Design

Automation Vision

Effortless light and shade experience
combining Automation and Manual

I converged the ideated solutions
and created a light and shade control vision to
align the team and guide the decisions


80% of
shade movements


programs most of the automation


customizes part of the automation


20% of
shade movements

I created Lutron App structure
to guide future Occupants Experience
by combining JTBD and Ideated Solutions

Stress-free Intermission
Timed manual automation pause
Feel in Control
One Automation Revamp
Event + NLO + Natural Show
Activity Log
All movements at a glance
Dynamic Natural Light
Natural Light Default
Let light and shade breath with natural light
Easy Personalization
Simple Editor
Common tweaks used to only be available for dealers
Lutron App
Activity Log
Manual 20%
Automation 80%
Natural Light Default
NLO (Shade)
Natural Show (Light)
Product Strategy

Chunk down,
Scale up

I collaborated with developers and PMs to create a product strategy that balances business goals, dev effort, and user value.

Lutron App Structure for Automation Vision

To communicate and align user needs, business goals, and development requirements


Blend the ideated features


Long-term Business goal to increase shade adoption by making shades smarter

Focus on Natural Light Default

Due to Team Resource Matching


Resource is balanced across Multi-Server, Core, and App

Start from NLO then NS

Build Enabler for a Unified Control


Unify control across NLO and NS


Build Enabler across NLO and NS

Focus on Time Flexibility

Due to User Needs and Business Opportunities


Suggested 3 features that users need most spontaneity


Weather integration is picked for another business initiative

2 Phases

Fit Enabler Development and Business Goal in Deadline


Ship and MVP by Feb 2024


Core team needs time to work on enabler of area-based object structure

Lutron App
Activity Log
Manual 20%
Automation 80%
Natural Light Default
Time Flexibility
Lift & Tilt
Weather Integration
Time Flexibility
Intensity & Temperature
Weather Integration
Time Flexibility
1st Phase

Activity Viewer

2nd Phase

Activity Editor


Activity Viewer

Explained the 1st phase design for NLO
in 3 prioritized JTBD

Activity Viewer aim to build trust to NLO for users by
Informing users the automation details
➔ Letting users know they have ultimate control

JTBD 1: Trouble Shooting a Shade Movement

Commercial Space Manager

When a tenant asks me what is the reason to a specific shade movement

I want to be able to check what happened to the shade device

Because I want to be in control and can tweak if needed

1. Start from area

NLO by Area

Users' mental model is area-based

2. Go to the Shade Group

Shade Group Position

Showcase position without overwhelming users with numbers

3. Check the Shade Device

Numeric for Device

Show open percentage for each shade device


Allow tweaking the singular position instead of pausing NLO for the whole area

JTBD 2: Deciding NLO for an Area

Residential Homeowner

When deciding if I want NLO on for an area

I want to know how the actual automated movements will look like

Because when giving out control, I want to make sure I will like it

1. Go to “Living Room”

Toggle on/off

Users have the ultimate control over their shades

2. Check the Movements


Users can see the movements through time of the day


JTBD 3: Planning NLO for Future

Commercial Space Manager

When there's an event that requires no interruption to the environment

I want to be able to check how NLO will automate the shades in the period

So tht I can proactively adjust the NLO movements

1. Check Bistro

2. Check Movements at 1 PM


Allow automation planning for future days



Allow deleting singular movement instead of pausing the whole NLO


Metrics and Impact

During the project I demonstrated the following skillset and achieved impacts

System Thinking ➔ Strategize complex architecture across features

Interpersonal Skill ➔ Navigate new concepts through working closely with developers, PMs, and managements

Boundary-pushing ➔ Advocate for users


Data is not available for this project now,
the following are the main KPI
we work with data science team on tracking

Activity Viewer Engagement Rate

To learn how useful activity viewer is for shade automation

Conversion Rate from Activity Viewer to NLO Enabling

To learn if activity viewer helps users in adopting shade automation

Business Impact

Enabled Major Business Opportunity for Shade Sales

Enabled shade sales in new business verticals

Influenced the Strategy of a 0➔1 Product

Distilled important pain point for a new technology and influenced the product strategy

Successfully delivered an MVP on time

Launched a steady first step into the automation vision

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