Tactile navigation band & watch for blind
UX, Product, Service Design
Korea University | 2015

Role: Team Leader
User research, user scenario, product design, GUI design, IxD design, motion design, film production

Full PDF Report (Korean)

Brailliant Design process film


A college campus is a dynamic environment for students, but there are many inconveniences for visually impaired students. Brailliant is a GPS-based smart tactile navigation band for visually impaired college students who need safe, accurate and efficient navigation across campus.


Brailliant is a smart device that pairs with the app to function as a GPS navigation and a watch (while not in use) using tactile pressure on the wrist. The indicator moves left to right across the rail, and shifts top to bottom depending on the use of either watch or navigation. When an obstacle is detected, it distinguishes the type of the obstacle and alerts in different patterns of vibration for each. Brailliant is designed to be fashionable yet unnoticeable, unlike most disability assistant devices. Tone downed colors and band textures add to the variety of selections.

[Watch Mode: User can tangibly feel the time with the tactile number indicator. Magnetic clasp structure allows user to easily wear the device.]

[Navigation Mode: The moving pointer will lightly press wrist to tell directions. Vibrations will tell various obstacles ahead.]


The app consists of a simple layout with high contrast color and large prints for the visually impaired. For those who are unable recognize the position of the screen button, it is possible to operate with the volume button. Design inspired by Braille prints, the layout embraces embossed and engraved paper characteristics. Users can select departure and arrival place in the app for directions.

Functions & Taskflow

*Click image for full size view

Starting from the main page, users can select a new route or a recent route for guidance. Users have the device for main support, and can utilize the application for supplementary support for detailed descriptions, auditory guide, and finding current location.


Design Process

1. Market & Field Research

Although many Korean university campuses have established appropriate environment for majority, their support of facilities for disabled students is poor. These poor facilities are especially a threat to visually impaired students (1 of 8 disabled students) who need a safe walking environment.

We explored 6 university campuses within Seoul, to identify the current built-in facilities and assistant services for visually impaired. Many of them such as braille blocks, braille maps and voice guidances were broken, wrongly installed or operating superficially, and were not helpful enough to be actively utilized.

More than 60% of visually impaired students had complaints about accessibility and inconvenience in campus, and we decided to study their daily routines to understand their pain points. They were especially concerned for obstacles, such as stairs, cars, and people,

2. User study : In-depth interview

We interviewed 4 visually impaired students who each have different levels and types of impairment. They all agreed campus is a frustrating place to navigate because of uncertainty of direction and current location, crowded timings and obstacles.

3. User study : shadow tracking

After shadow-tracking our interviewees we identified specific pain points and significant touch points in certain situations. We divided the navigation in two parts -familiar route and unfamiliar route- to help us form a comprehensive design solution.

4. User analysis : walking experience

Based on the user studies, we formed a navigating process of visually impaired and what sensory clues they use to verify each process.

5. User analysis : Problem of current tools

Students rely on alternative and private tools for assistance. We identified the problems for each of these tools.

6. KJ Mapping

Through affinitiy diagram, we clustered our findings from research to discover major insight keywords and needs.

7. Design Considerations

Major pain points and considerations were ordered down before designing solution.

8. AEIOU Framework

Design direction was focused through the principle of AEIOU. First, we readdressed the target user and environment, and drew connection between the two.

User & Environment




9. Product Sketch

10. User Scenario

Team: Yoobin Shin, Yoona Park
Advisor: Prof. Seunghun Yoo
Product Development | 2015
Industrial & Information Design | Korea University