Drones on Demand


PERSONAL PROJECT











Designing a system for provisioning aerial drones on demand.














The challenge

Uber for drones

What if we could hail a drone and fly it as easily as we hail a ride from Uber? What if we could see what the drone sees on our smartphone? What if we could fly a drone on the other side of the world — from the comfort of our living room sofa?

This was my crazy idea, and it gripped me because drones are (ahem) taking off in popularity, because I enjoy solving difficult problems, and because I relished the opportunity to disrupt the status quo by creating something never seen before.


The solution

Drones on Demand

Drones on Demand is a system for provisioning aerial drones, including an end-user app for hailing and flying drones.



Research

I didn't know much about drones, so I researched relevant technologies, communities, and regulations. I found that the community of drone enthusiasts that were flying over 3G networks was quite small, but I was able to connect with a well-known expert in Norway. This expert validated my approach and overall design, and we tentatively agreed to partner on the project moving forward.

These are some of the apps that influenced my designs.



User flows

The Drones on Demand system includes an end-user app for hailing and flying drones. After a lot of sketching and scenario writing, I came up with this "happy path," allowing users to engage with the app before having to provide any account details.



High-fidelity mockups

I mocked-up all the key screens and interactions. I kept my designs minimal so the content would shine — and also because I'm a UX Designer, not a UI/Visual Designer.






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Conclusion

I suspended any doubts I had about drones in order to immerse myself in solving the problem. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the drone DIY community and learning about drone technology. And I enjoyed thinking about all the ways drones can change our lives. Ultimately, however, I decided not to continue with this project due to concerns about privacy.



Recap


    • Conceived system for provision aerial drones on demand.
    • Researched relevant technologies, communities, and regulations.
    • Connected with drone expert who validated my approach and overall design.
    • Iteratively sketched and wireframed solutions.
    • Created high-fidelity mockups.
    • Abandoned project due to concerns about privacy and safety.