Smart home products are changing our lives. 7 in 10 households in the US now own at least one smart home product. That translates to 83 million households, and of those, 18% or 22 million homes own more than one smart home product. However, the ecosystem of joining 2 or more IoT devices together is very complex.
Function multiple devices effectively and effortlessly when arriving at home
Because of the 3 hours time limitation, I couldn’t run complex research, such as sending surveys or interviewing different stakeholders. But I got a chance to reach out to my friend who uses a wide range of smart devices. I asked him to describe the interaction with smart devices every day and encouraged him to think aloud for any pain point or concern.
Let’s imagine a scenario in which the user is not a master of technology.
Then I downloaded and played around with the Smart Life, which has 171k downloads on the app store. Users need at least 5 steps to set up a routine, and there is no way to test if this will work or not. Users have to go back and forth a lot to make sure every step is correct.
Let’s summarize. The main pain points for the task are:
Get lost in too many steps when setting up automation
Have no idea of what can be achieved by connecting devices together
How might we allow smart-home users to control and set up smart routines for home appliances more easily and intuitively, with the least learning curve as possible?
The Design Principle
After understood pain points and user needs, I defined the design principles for setting routine/automation to guide my later decision making.
Do more tasks, in less time
Users are seeking a seamless way to quickly access, understand, and set up common routine activities in the dashboard.
Be able to preview the result
Users are seeking an intuitive way to view the automation outcome and confirm they are doing the right thing.
I began ideating solutions that would best address user needs.
The dashboard enables users to quickly access to all devices and control easily
It shows the status of devices directly. Click once to turn it on/off.
The automation setting page supports review feature to ensure the accuracy.
Try and see the effect in advance in case of any unpredictable surprise.
The library provides recommended automations based on user’s devices.
Can’t imagine what you can do? Check our community for inspiration!
2021 design trend pointed out the dark theme and bold color. I applied different colors related to emotions, such as blue for the night and red for the morning. Besides, I selected materialized icons to help users better understand the meanings.
Users get notifications when arriving at home, so that they can trigger the automation without opening the app.
I’m planning to take usability test of the prototype with users to improve user flow and do in-depth research about each feature.