arduino programming, interaction design, visual design


Einor Jackobsen


I worked at the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan for a semester as a Front-End Developer. The faculty and students at the department often preserved biological samples in temperature controlled environments. Based on the kind of sample and temperature to be maintained, they would often include multiple laboratories within the three floor building. Since these labs would often suffer temperature changes - a routine check had to be performed to ensure that the samples were in good condition. This was often a time consuming task and multiple checks had to be performed through the day and this would involve faculty members/students physically going to all labs which housed their respective samples and determnining the temperatures.


A low cost arduino system equipped with a ds18b20 temperature sensor. The arduino system sends periodic data to a web server which could then be accessed via a web dashboard. We also proposed a mobile based alert system which would involve sending alerts to a subscribed phone number if the temperature in the room showed abnormal variations.

System Design

The following is a visual representation of the proposed design. I was responsible for developing the arduino based system and ensure that it sent updates to a server. My time here saw me develop the first version of the same which has since been iterated on.

System Programming

I was solely in charge of programming the Ardunio based system and drew on from my past experiences as a programmer in order to accomplish this.

Web Dashboard Wireframe

In order to determine the ideal design for the web dashboard, I sketched out possible options. I followed this up by developing a wireframe for the same. My objective was to keep it to a single web-page and reduce navigation to ensure that minimum time was spent on the dashboard. I proposed a slider mechanism to adjust duration of visualization to cater to people concerned with finer temperature changes.

Proposed Visual Design

The following is the proposed visual design for the dashboard. I primarily used a monochrome of blue to design the same because blue is often associated with low temperatures (freezing etc). In addition, since people were often concerned with avg and maximum temperatures in the specified duration - I gave these two details additional emphasis thus facilitating a single glance analysis.