dark | light
Collaborated with digitalSTROM to build a smart home app where users can connect and control all their smart home devices and have an overview of their home. With the app, users are able to set right scenarios according to their needs from wherever they are.
digitalSTROM partnered with different IoT device manufacturers like Philips Hue, V-ZUG, Smarter to enable third-party device control.
The digitalSTROM technology also allows users to incorporate none smart devices into the smart home system by connecting them to a digitalSTROM switch. This means that any pluged in device can at least be turned on or off with the app.
Click to enlarge
When creating the information architecture for this application, it was very interesting to see how different each interviewed
individual's mental model was. For example, the option to create a scenario was expected by some users to be found in the room
overview screen, by some on the landing page and by a little group within the settings menu. Even after multiple interviews,
there was no clear answer to this question, so we decided to have these options on multiple screens like the landing page and
the room overview screen.
A later usability test showed that users were very happy with this solution and saw it as convenient to have the option to create scenarios from different locations of the app.
Some UIs needed detailed interaction prototyping to clearly communicate how they will work. In such cases, I first sketched out the interaction patterns to give the team a rough idea on how the UI should look like and gathered some feedback and inputs. Based on those sketches and feedbacks, I then prototyped those patterns to give everyone a clear understanding of the complete interaction and complexity. These steps were very valuable because they helped a lot with estimating development time and effort as well as bringing everyone on the same page. This temperature control prototype was built with ProtoPie, which turned out to be the fittest tool to visualize and share this specific interaction after some explorations with other tools.
Visualization of each element of the UI to help estimate implementation complexity
After creating a first concept of the temperature UI with its interactions, we figured it would cost too much to implement. As a next logical step, we stripped down all components that added complexity but still tried to have a final result which is similar and still provides all the information and adjustment options. We were very happy with the final result and this process showed the team how important it is to try, test, negotiate and iterate our product.
The app was well received by users after publishing the app to the app store.