Philips Respironics asked us to redesign an existing sleep therapy device. The objective was to find a an approach that better evoked a home therapy design language. Requirements included utilizing the existing button configuration, existing circuit board, and the back housing enclosure.
To begin, we first evaluated usability. We identified therapy vs. machine functions as separate categories used at different key moments. We also learned that the device had no illumination. Buttons were often used in the dark during therapy. As such, patient users needed to "see with their fingers" to operate the device.
The resulting form expresses the softness of a bed and pillows. Similar to braille, a raised channel allows fingers to navigate the object to find primary buttons: on/off; and "start sleep." The start sleep button is large and soft to the touch, evoking comfort. More importantly, it is the largest, easiest to find button. The on/off button is long and metallic, implying a separate more machine-like tactile. Experimenting with color revealed opportunities for brand differentiation and ideas that better fit within the context of use.