Empowering American Telecoms to Implement 5G

  • Product Strategy
  • Enterprise UX
  • UI/UX Design

5G implementation is being powered by EINO — and EINO is being powered by ADG. A sustained collaboration has transformed a sophisticated machine learning algorithm into a clear application.

Opportunity

EINO Founder Payman Samadi had created an amazing algorithm. It was flexible, fast, and had the opportunity to change many industries by predicting future volume. Backed by Cornell University and 500 Startups, Payman had a technology – but now he needed to commercialize it. That is when he turned to ADG.

ADG has partnered with EINO through the prototyping, MVP, and commercial product stages to apply this cutting-edge technology to real-life applications. ADG and EINO understood that even if you have the most advanced technology, unless it fits the way people live and work you’ll never get off the ground.

With this understanding, ADG has worked closely with EINO to evaluate, test, and design an application for the telecommunications industry. Through our design & society process ADG created a dashboard for data analysts at telecommunications companies to plan their rollout of 5G in major cities.

Telecoms companies are constantly investing in upgrading their networks. EINO helps them prioritize upgrades by tower.

Design Challenges & Strategy

Ideation • Before designing a prototype, EINO and ADG sat down to discuss the abilities of the algorithm, review the existing research, and get whiteboarding. We began with the algorithm’s inputs which led us to understand that population density and volume were the things that we could calculate. The algorithm was predictive – meaning the next layer was time. We came to understand that as time moved forward, the resolution of the predictive accuracy (the accuracy of the predictions is decreased the further out) and also resolution within a geography (how small or large an area we could measure by size) were at play. This led to the visualizing of the initial prototype, which featured a map with overlays to show volume, a scale for time, and a scale for geographic resolution.

Designing for UI/UX for Abstract Data Science • EINO’s users are data analysts, and as a result, the application involves an abstract understanding of data & time to match the needs and way of working of the user. This presented a unique challenge to understand the application and design a high-end visual product with smooth workflow.

Usability Testing • The prototype was a big step forward as it turned the algorithm from code into something people could actually work with. And therefore — we could now get more user feedback to bring us to the next level. The next question to be resolved was how do people work with time? And who would this be most relevant to?


Through further exploratory research, we began to narrow on the Telecoms industry. Telecoms companies are constantly planning and upgrading their networks. They have thousands of towers, but only have the ability to upgrade a certain number each year. We found that Telecoms companies needed information to know which towers to prioritize for upgrade.

Early stage prototypes focused on visual navigation through a map combined with datasets.

Improve the functionality through feedback: Narrowing to Telecoms industry. Using the Cell tower as the base to make decisions. This is where EINO fit in. By using the algorithm to predict the volume of usage on each tower, telecoms would be able to make smarter decisions about which ones to upgrade. Telecoms companies want to upgrade the capacity of towers that will see more use. By adding the ability to also predict the future use of a tower a telecoms company would be in a much better position to make more strategic upgrades – and therefore make strategic use of their resources (like crews and equipment) as well. This led also to identify the specific business unit, and thus user, within a telecoms company that we would be targeting.

We took this understanding to build on the initial prototype. We now focused the map around cell-tower sites and allowed the user to review an area by cell tower or by combining towers. The MVP also features a smooth user experience that allowed the user to easily switch between searching widely and then drilling into the details of a specific tower.

Commercial Product. Now not just looking at individual towers. But now offering network views and the ability to create multi-dimensional comparisons. After another series of user research it was time to bring it all together. We now had gained a detailed understanding of which team within a telecom company we were targeting and how they worked. The individuals in the planning department of a telecoms company would compare several key factors across a batch of towers and then set a threshold, above which, the tower should be upgraded. We also needed our dashboard to work with other existing systems, so the ability to work with a dataset and then export the results was key.

Through further contextual and user research, we found that a data-focused dashboard was most effective.

UX/UI

UX: Workflow & Dashboard. The design was built around the workflow of our user, the data analyst. We integrated features, such as:

  • Importing datasets about cell tower performance UI
  • Cleaning up and organize the data such that it could be interpreted by Eino’s Algorithm
  • Easily searching the data and selecting comparison points
  • Generating plots which compare several data points
  • Setting the threshold for the plot
  • Gaining confidence in predictive data by viewing information on predictive accuracy
  • Viewing the suggested date for tower upgrade – i.e. actionable step
  • Comparing the algorithm’s past results with current results
  • Exporting a CSV file with findings

UI: Many data focused application are notoriously unappealing from a visual stand point. We design an interface that was clean and easy to look at. Including:

  • Bright contemporary color palette on white background allows user to get information at a glance
  • The UI supports the UX with clear buttons, dropdown menus, etc during workflow, and with easy to read charts and indicators in the dashboard
  • Modern styling that positions EINO and EINO’s product as a cutting-edge, user friendly product
  • Custom iconography to guide users through all three major sections of the workflow: Organizing data, Comparing, and Cross-Sectional Time comparison.

Impact

Since partnering with ADG, EINO has won awards from Power Bridge NY Cleantech Accelerator; has been awarded by the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research branch, and has also been awarded by Cornell Ben Daniel Venture Challenge.

Although EINO’s clients are confidential, we can share that some of the largest national Telecoms operators in several countries are engaging with EINO. As 5G and other smart-city technologies get rolled out EINO and this platform will be behind it – empowering the transition to the smart city.