On a blazing hot summer day in Phoenix, super-dad Eric is bending over his pool control panel, kids whining “Can we swim yet?” He squints to read the display as sweat drips into his eyes. Finally, he gets the pump on, and they jump in. The pool industry, formerly stagnant, is booming now more than ever as heat waves roll across the U.S.
Hayward’s OmniLogic offers an attractive alternative to sweating in the sun - their app allows pool owners to start a swim from their phone. However, despite being packed with industry-leading features, the app was clunky to use and difficult to navigate. At Loft, we knew that our proven process could transform this flagship technology into a sleek and user-friendly app, setting a new standard for pool technology.
Hayward chose Loft as a partner because they understood the value of our user-centric approach, integrated research and design teams, and deep analytical mindset. At Loft, we believe that a true understanding of the end user is essential to the product development process. It was through our in-depth user research that we uncovered hidden biases that were impacting who used the app. For instance, while some women expressed in interviews that the pool was their (male) partner’s domain, they were quite involved in other home decisions such as energy use. We discovered that these women were interested in using the OmniLogic to make day-to-day decisions about the pool but were intimidated by the overly technical interface. Thanks to these insights, we made it our mission to invite tentative users in and give them confidence, while still delighting the more tech savvy users with fun features.
Whether splish-splashing with the family or getting in an early morning swim, answering the question, “Can I swim?” was our first priority. We designed a home screen with glanceable info such as pool temperature and shortcuts to frequently used settings. Customizable options are just a couple of taps away, satisfying users who want more control. With a simple and logical information architecture in place, the same users we spoke with earlier found the app much easier to use and navigate.
Pool equipment aesthetics often lag behind flashier categories such as consumer electronics, which benefit from overly-engineered apps and beautiful interfaces. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Loft brought award-winning design know-how to the creation of a modern, sleek app for Hayward. The polished graphics elevate the Hayward brand and differentiate it from competitors. Dressed to impress, Hayward can now build on their smart home offering, moving from a rigid control system to a premium guided experience.
The OmniLogic operates in one of the most intimate spheres: the home. Our work to uncover pool users’ frustrations and desires led directly to design choices on the screen. With a pared-down interface, we give the user meaningful and useful information at the right time - just before they jump in. Further establishing Hayward as a market leader, this powerhouse pool tool is now approachable and convenient for any member of the household.