Building one of the first smart
home security monitor

Design Strategist



Build A Brand Platform
For Connected Product

The startup Dojo came to us with an exciting challenge: to build one of the first smart home security monitor. The aim was to help people control their privacy. We engaged with the startup from high-level strategy to execution. I helped design the brand and its identity. While the process was fun, it also raised provocative questions about how to protect our privacy in the age of the Internet of Things.

How do we empower people to feel comfortable
in their smart homes and trust their connected devices?

Research About Culture & People

As always when I start a project, I focus on people. Who uses smart objects? What are their concerns and needs? While doing research I realized that privacy is Internet of Things’ weakness. We deal with technology everyday but we fear for our privacy. Aware that we were dealing with a sensitive subject, we tackled one big question: How do we empower people to feel comfortable in their smart homes and trust their connected devices?


A sensei as a brand archetype to make the
IOT’S security simple & human

Define The Market Opportunity

While doing consumer and cultural research, I also focused on mapping out the best market opportunity for Dojo. Most of our competitors were focused on fear and proposed opaque systems - as a result making people afraid of welcoming new technologies in their homes. We decided to shift the market focus from fear to empowerment and transparency. Dojo’s brand will be about simplicity, control and knowledge. Now, we needed a brand personality that would bring these human values to life. What would it be?



A brain, a pebble, a conversational UI

Create The Brand Personality

I believe that brands are more than just companies. I envision them like people who have real relationships. This is why I aim to find brand archetypes with human values. Once I find the archetype, I gather visual material to inspire the design team’s work. Dojo’s archetype was the Sensei. It characterized empathy and knowledge while reflecting a strong, calm presence. Once the brand personality is defined, it is time to translate it into product designs and interactions, digital experiences, and finally branding elements.



Inform The Design & The Experience

For me, a strategy is always evolving. Once I set the foundation, I work closely with designers, listening to their insights to enrich the strategy. I believe a big part of my job is to constantly engage with the team and help them refine their concept. Collaboration is key to build eloquent and holistic brand stories. Dojo’s design is an expression of the strategy: a discreet ambient interface and an empowering, friendly conversational UI experience.

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Who, Where, When

Start-up DojoLabs
New Deal Design, San Francisco, 2015


Alexia Mathieu, Reid Evans Tony Smith, Christina Tapp
Jaeha Yoo, Valérie Tsang Jon Patterson, Gadi Amit

What I Did

Cultural research, Competitor research, Market positioning, Brand values definition, Brand archetype definition, Help with the experience design