“We want you to visualize the Internet.”

Yep. That’s seriously what the Starry team told us in our first conversation.

We told them, “that might be NSFW — but we’ll see what we can do.”

The Starry team had a truly rad mission — they wanted people to control and understand their Wi-Fi like never before. So they built a powerful router with a touchscreen display that was beautiful enough to showcase on a desk and simple enough for any mom to use. No more blinking lights to decode. Just a better way to stay connected to all the amazing stuff on the Internet (cat memes included).

So we started by prototyping different UI visualizations — from complex generative mesh patterns to simple bar graphs. Through lots of testing and iterating, we discovered that the visualization of floating orbs (representing connecting devices) had a very immediate and beautiful quality. So this became our design language, with devices that are connected to a network would be represented by colored spheres, floating and drifting in space.

The color system also played a key role. We established that “healthy devices” represented their signal strength in shades of blue, and “problem devices” displayed a bright red, making it simple and intuitive for a user. This same logic would be carried across all data visualization: shades of blue meant everything was cool and red indicated there was a network problem.

See, the Internet can be Safe For Work.


Jane Huschka

The Collected Works

Jane Huschka & Starry Team

Nick Hum

Courtesy of Starry