The Postificator is a sensor/app collaboration which is able to notify the user of physical mail in the mailbox.
By incorporating a weight sensor, which is able to record data, in the user’s mailbox, that person can be notified through the app when mail has arrived. Data on the specific piece of mail is then displayed in the app’s user interface.
The picture shown displays the prototype’s appearance. It was a design consisting of the WeMos D1 Mini and a button (stand-in for the weight sensor). The WeMos D1 Mini is designed to handle internet data transmission and as such was the ideal choice for the project. It sends data to the server based on the input from the ‘sensor’ (button). The buttons were used as a stand-in because even by changing the ‘sensor’ to a weight sensor, the data transmitted would be of the same type and as such, for testing purposes, buttons were ideal.
Technical programming and design of basic functionality
The app was designed to accommodate the user’s needs for an aesthetically pleasing solution still functionally able to communicate precise information.
On loading the app, data from the server is extracted and shown in the GUI. This can also manually be done after loading the app my pressing the reload button. When mail has been gathered from the mailbox, server data can be manually cleared. The sensor will also be able to perform this action according to the weight data changes.
In this prototype version, the function of the app is represented by the text at the top. This was to better showcase what the app was able to do as a prototype.
Final design of the prototype application
The design was first elaborated by way of hand. Through this method, a lot of different designs were reached and chosen through a priority table of function, aesthetics, and usability. These were some of the final designs for the app, where two screens can be seen.
In the prototype version, not enough data was present to fill a whole screen. Thusly, the left design was left out of the final prototype version. This was meant to display a larger amount of data (like date, time, weight, possible mail type, etc.).
Sketching the designs for the Postificator application