In this video, learn the UX design challenges for designing for smart home devices, as well as the role of context and form factors.
- [Instructor] Smart home devices are products designed to be controlled remotely through an app or through a user interface. Popular smart home ecosystems are Apple and Google Home. Some examples of smart home products include the smart lock, doorbells with cameras, lighting, thermostats, blinds, just about anything. Smart home devices are a combination of industrial design, user interface, voice interface, and data. When designing for smart home you'll need to understand the constraints of the technology, the physical product, and how the user will interact with the products. Let's consider a design for smart home. Some of the challenges include a lack of understanding from the consumer on how smart systems work. Our goal is to reduce complexity for the user by doing as much as possible behind the scenes to guide the user through the process. Some of the considerations designing a smart home experience include making sure key touch points of the product experience are easy to use. That includes the setup process, errors, troubleshooting, multidevice and third-party interactions, notifications, and managing updates. Let's say we want to design a smart home lighting system. Possible archetypes using the system might be someone who's avid about technology and wants to hook up their lighting system to coincide with his game system. The other person might be someone who's interested in the system for home security, but doesn't consider themselves good with technology. In this case the context of use is that the user will be interacting with the device and any other devices, like watch, phone, desktop, TV, and voice. Most smart home systems have a voice component that interacts with either Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. Common goals for our users will be that they want to set up the system so it does what they want. So in the case of our first archetype setting up lighting with his gaming activities will require a third-party app and he needs to be informed of that. For the second archetype who's interested in lighting for home security they'll need to know how to set up lighting to their schedule by adding timers. Because of the various devices that can interact with the system, creating a high level diagram for each process will help us understand how to approach the design and create key screens. Here's an example of a high level simple diagram that demonstrates the setup process for smart lighting. We can see that there are a few different scenarios that can occur. Like how we inform the user that their device hasn't been found when trying to pair and error conditions that can lead to calling customer service. The interface has to be responsive to the situation in real time to always let the user know where they are in the process. You can do this through showing error icons or warning icons in the app. The device hand-off is an important touch point when setting up smart home experiences. When setting up your smart home experience from your phone app the process can finish on any device that works with it. So you'll want to make sure that there's feedback in the process to help the user be informed on what's happening and where they are in the process. In addition, the experience with third-party apps needs to be designed with seamless touch points. New product setup can be a nerve-racking experience and prone to frustration. For example, if your app requires permissions to access the smart device explain why. Here is an example of a third-party app demonstrating what the user needs to do for the smart lighting system. A graphic that conveys a clear understanding on what's expected establishes a sense of confidence. Since most interactions with smart home devices are through phone and desktop standard best practices and interaction patterns with gestures should be applied. For example, make sure tap targets are easy to access. Smart devices will typically have a voice component, so you'll want to take that into consideration on how users might speak to the device or prompt them on which commands would work by default. For more recommendations on designing for smart home check out Google's guidelines on Smart Home. And you can also take a look at Apple's guidelines.
- Understanding user motivations and goals
- Using personas in interaction design
- Designing ecommerce and social experiences
- Designing enterprise experiences for mobile
- UX design challenges for smart home devices
- Designing for voice interfaces
- UX design challenges for automotive interfaces