Airware Makers Blog

Flight Testing and Autonomous Design Challenges

We are out test flying our latest software release. Terik and Grant could have run solo, but I tagged along to see our hardware in action for the first time. I recently started as Airware’s second Product Designer. Today I’m curiously taking notes and photographs to understand our users’ experience more deeply....

Testing Your First Redux App

Like with all applications, testing the front-end of a web application is vital to the development process, but front-end testing can pose some unique challenges. Anyone familiar with this process can identify with:...

Life With React and Redux

I'm going to share with you the knowledge that I have gained by getting up to speed with these new frontend tools. Today we’ll go through a very simple weather app that I built with Redux and how these patterns can help you....

The Hackathon Y6 Fabrication

Airware makes hardware components, firmware, and software for commercial drones. But a hackathon is a time to experiment and push the limits of what your experience and role dictate. A collection of engineers at Airware decided to take on the challenge of designing and fabricating a one-off drone from scratch for the first time in their careers--in just three days....

A Simple(ish) Definition of Digital Product Design

'Product Designer' is a job title that has been growing in popularity over the past few years, but there is a lot of ambiguity around what it actually means. It’s traditionally been used as a way to describe industrial designers, the people who design cars, appliances and other physical objects. However, it’s becoming an increasingly popular way to describe folks like myself who work for software companies and design digital products. We’ve called these people UI, UX or Interaction Designers for a long time now so why the name change? Is there a real reason behind it or is it just another Silicon Valley buzzword that will eventually fade into obscurity?...

The Lost Wax Method of Rewriting Software

Rewriting software means completely reimplementing existing features, often in a new language. This is more drastic than a refactor, where large swaths of code are rewritten in the same language. Rewriting carries risk and can expose your users to new bugs or broken features. It can also impact your team by ballooning into an unreasonable time or resource commitment. Surprisingly, there is a 6000-year-old maker technique we can use to mitigate these risks and in some cases produce the mythical "perfect" deployment....

Flight Planning in the Airware Cloud

The goal of this project was to design a UI in the Airware Cloud that enables users to create a new job as easily as possible. This is a crucial experience because a “job” is the fundamental unit of work here at Airware. It encapsulates all of the work that goes into collecting data with a drone—from planning the flight, through the collection of data, and ultimately the creation of a data product....

Epic Demos

Agile helps teams of engineers make complicated things. If you're running an agile development process, you're regularly holding demo meetings at the end of your sprints. I hope you leave your product owners saying "Epic!" at the end of the demos, but that's not what this article is about. At Airware we demo our epics, or development initiatives that span multiple sprints. This is about the unique challenges we face, how we demo, and how it might help you....

Case Study: Aircraft to Ground Connection

We recently allocated two sprints to improve the usability of our Ground Control Station. The Ground Control Station is a Windows application that acts as the interface between an aircraft and its operator. It assists operators with routine calibrations, planning autonomous flights, and monitoring aircraft during flight....