BAPI Case Study || Tom Columbus
BAPI Wireless asset management

BAPI Wireless asset management

BAPI makes environmental sensors that are used by multiple industries. These sensors have a wide variety of uses, from heating and cooling your local elementary school to tracking produce and meat from farm to table.

This project provided the unique opportunity to design how the hardware connected to the software. I served as the lead UX consultant for Blink, working closely with internal and external teams to scope the project and execute a design.

My Role

UX Consultant
Project management
Interaction design
Visual design



  • The set-up of the hardware & software was undefined

  • The interface needed to scale for small business and large enterprises with multiple locations

  • The workflow needed to accommodate a wide range of industries (agricultural, building management, food storage and preparation, etc.)


  • Up to 4 sensors could be contained in one physical device

  • Admin users needed to manage locations, users, and alerts

  • Alert types could span multiple devices and configurations of alerts applied to groups of devices



Gain understanding:

Take a practical approach and physically set-up a several gateways and sensors myself as well as interview users

Communicate and collaborate:

Create a multi-step user journey map to discover opportunities and define scope of the experience

Advocate for the user:

Providing users with a way to take action on potential problems before they occur, is equally as important as being alerted of an issue


  • Optimized the hardware set-up to connect to the software in only 4 steps

  • Designed a highly scalable, customizable way to create and manage groups of devices

  • Provided an easy way to switch between locations, without leaving the dashboard view

  • Designed a way for users to document steps taken to de-escalate an potential problem


Hands on approach

One of the unique challenges this project had was connecting each physical device to a user’s online account. In order to design the onboarding experience, I organized a series of meetings to walk through the set up of these devices with the team.

In doing so, we were able to discover things we could simplify and reduce the amount of steps needed to connect the hardware to the web app.

User journey map

I created a simple user journey map that included two additional “unboxing” steps as part of the setup. I added these steps, for the product team, to highlight the opportunity for creating a greater sense of user engagement with great package design and well crafted instructions. It was important to stress that there should be synergy between the real world parts of the experience and the software experience.

user journey map

Understanding the usecase

The client was able to arrange an onsite tour of a facility that monitors a food line and food storage unit. This was a great opportunity to observe how the devices are used in the real world.

Working closely with my UX researcher we demonstrated some of the critical workflows by walking through a few iterations of the wireframes with potential users.


From these these interviews, I refined the wireframes and created a prototype for our usability study. This prototype would also be used to demonstrate interactivity for the engineering team.

Parts of the design

The navigation for Users and Alerts were only available to users with admin privileges. The user had the ability to create and assign alerts and users to multiple locations and devices. The navigation on the left was a very hierarchical structure.

The location was represented at the top node. Switching between locations would update the list of gateways and device groups below. It was important to be able to view the list of devices in many different ways. Users could isolate the list based on device type, then reorder the list and search.

Visual styling

After making improvements to the design based on user testing, I worked on creating a couple of visual designs for the team to review. I presented the team with a light interface and a dark theme. The product team decided on going with a dark theme. I then created a stylesheet to aid the visual designer in completing the style guide.

Visual Designs

The Dashboard

The dashboard is intended to be displayed continuously for workers to track, in real time, any change in the environmental conditions that might trigger an alarm. This can be critical to protecting a company from a severe loss of perishable assets. It was important to use contrast to make a device that is in alarm really stand out.


Alert types

An ounce of prevention

For each alarm triggered there would be a record of what user addressed the issue and how they resolved it. This information could then be used to generate a report for a health inspector on a particular device or a whole group of devices.

We created a view of the device's sensor data that provided historical information about what alerts had been applied to the device when an alarm triggered. Who addressed the alert and what actions they took.

While performing user testing, we discovered that while users liked the record of what they did to address an alarm, they’d really like to see that feature be available to them when they alleviate a situation before it triggers an alarm. For instance, if a user took steps to reduce heat on the soup line before it got too hot to trigger an alarm, they should be able to report and log what measures they took to prevent a situation from escalating.

In conclusion

Physically setting up the hardware and understanding how it was used in industry settings was a key component to designing the interactions for the application. It allowed us to discover the bare minimum steps we could have to get the user up and running.

Through user testing, we came to understand that there was a lot of value in preventing an alarm from being triggered. For the user, it was important keep a record of what they did to de-escalate a potential situation.

Thanks for reading.