I was in Shenzhen, China, for two weeks in early August. Being a relatively new member of Team ADI, it was important for me to see and understand where and how the EcoQubes were made, by whom, as well as be a part of the process of generating new ideas and solutions to further improve our Qubes.
Shenzhen is a really lovely city. It reminds me a lot of Singapore, where I live, with how much space greenery takes up in the city. It's pretty unexpected to me because Shenzhen is sometimes regarded as China's Silicon Valley. And while I've never been to the actual Silicon Valley, my perception of any city that handles large quantities of manufacturing, electronics and otherwise, would be pretty built up and grey. Shenzhen defied that stereotype completely.
We spent a great bulk of our time at our factory, with the goal of perfecting our EcoQube Air in mind (we had other goals as well, like brainstorming to come up with new products!).
Other than learning about our product development and manufacturing process, my main job was to make sure that the packaging, instructions, and all other inserts in both the EcoQube C and Air were beautiful and also easily understandable. That required a lot of knowledge and understanding of the technicalities and engineering of both the Air and C, and being at the factory with the prototype of the Air, as well as many, many samples of the C to tinker around with really helped.
Look at all these EcoQube Cs
Another task was to review the app I had designed. Our app developers had done an absolutely fantastic job in turning my static design images into a beautiful, working app.
The app review process is pretty complex. Most people think of app development as just UI/UX (user interface/user experience), but it is so much more than that. Creating a great app that works with a physical product requires a lot of liaising between our firmware engineer, our product designer/engineer Andrew, myself, and the app developers.
This complex collaboration is absolutely necessary to create a perfectly working app, but to create one that is beautiful as it is intuitive also requires a deep love and understanding of our EcoQube, as well as a deep love an understanding of our users, that is, you! I've been working as part of the customer service team since I joined Team ADI, in order to better understand the wants and needs of our fellow EcoQube users. And this knowledge has been absolutely essential in Shenzhen in order to create a product and an app that meets all your wants and needs.
In order to create a better user experience that is simple, intuitive, and polished, not just with the app but with the entire EcoQube Air experience, I've spent two weeks in China. Andrew, our product designer and engineer, spent a month there. Together with the team, with rounds and rounds of testing and review, we're pleased to say that we've gone above and beyond with the EcoQube Air.
From improving the light settings to perfecting the output of the pump and the humidifier, to optimising the tiniest aspects (Andrew and I spent a day focusing on only the labels on the EcoQube Air, so you'll know exactly what goes where, for example), we're super excited to share that we've created a beautiful and perfectly functional desktop greenhouse. Everything that you and I love about the EcoQube C - the design, the whisper quiet pump, the beauty, the control you have over customising your Qube, without compromising plant growth or quality - has all been given a boost and put into the Air.
Outtakes: free time in Shenzhen
The three of us (Andrew, Kevin and I) collectively spent a total of two months in Shenzhen. Naturally, we'd have quite a bit of free time, especially to wind down after a long day at the factory.
Here's a couple of our favourite chill-out moments, in pictures:
-- Zarifah A., Team ADI