Yelp for Anderoid-auto
UI for in-car interactions
Designed a whole-home automation app using the Goal-Directed Design Process
The main objective of this research was to explore how users are integrating smart home technologies into their current residences and what they envision next.
I focused on homeowners and families: what they want and need, how they prefer to get it, and what they expect in a smart home system for it to work for them. To identify interviewees, i first conducted a short survey in my neighborhood, to analyze current practice and trends related to home automation. As the concept of home automation is still not well-defined nowadays, a brief description was given at the beginning to introduce the topic.
Most homeowners are excited about a smart home’s promise to make things safer, smarter and more efficient.
Research indicates that homeowners want to avoid the frustrations commonly experienced due to the ‘standalone device' model.
Despite advances in technology, consumers still face many daily issues as they continue to seek out comprehensive solutions.
Staying comfortable is equally important as energy savings when it comes to a smart thermostat.
Knowing that the home is safe & secured against a wide range of threats is the most important.
After the survey, I identified and approached 3 individuals for scheduled interview sessions to get a deeper understanding of their perspectives and preferences about the topic. The questions were about the consumer’s opinion, idea, current situation, preferences, costs, willingness and conditions to adopt the Home automation in their lives.
Age : 27
Single, lives with a roommate
Devices : alexa, samsung smart home to connect devices like TV, washers & fridge. Uses the wink app to integrate these devices.
Determined to install and configure the smart home devices himself
Wants : Loves to entertain so wants to connect and personalize entertainment, lighting & other devices
Frustrations : “Attempting an interconnected system to make devices talk to each other, has been daunting”
Age : mid-forties
Married with two children
Devices : Water-softener system controlled by ecowater app. ADT pulse home security. Looking to install a smart thermostat soon.
Has efficiency and sustainability at the top of her mind. She appreciates the beautiful and intuitive design – but she really loves seeing the energy savings on her monthly electricity bill.
Wants : Guidance for optimal energy consumption with alerts for security and energy monitoring when using smart devices.
Frustrations : “Everything is fragmented. I don’t know where to start! How much is it all going to cost?”
Age : 34
Devices : home powered by solar panels, nest learning thermostat, wifi plugs, each with a separate remote.
Her child’s safety and whereabouts is her utmost concern. Her son constantly demands her full attention
Wants : More solutions like nest that is not only intuitive but also is cost-effective due to growing expenses.
Frustrations : “Being a new mom, I don’t have a lot of hands…operating multiples devices is painstaking”
Comprehensive Single Platform Experience
While many people appreciate their smart home devices for their intended learning features, they don’t rely solely on its “smartness”. They also want to keep all the control at their fingertips, which is why mobile & voice assisted convenience is absolutely essential.
The following key personas helped capture the essence of the target audience, their behaviors, goals and frustrations uncovered during the research phase.
Recurring user needs that surfaced during the Modelling phase :
Users want to run their home like a single symbiotic ecosystem.
How might we design an app that is flexible and scalable enough to integrate with all if the home devices to help users create the perfect home environment (even away from home) suited to their activity, context and personality
Based on the problem the following themes surfaced during a brainstorm and affinity mapping session
Promote a positive association with the smart products the users already have.
Installation & Integration Support
Building a supportive community where users can discuss and exchange ideas, share experiences and challenges, and find practical solutions
Simplicity & Sustainability
Exploring possibilities of increased efficiency and cost savings in a meaningful way
Tweaking the system to adapt to varied needs of different homes and the people it houses.
Persona : Murphys
Situation : Mr. Murphy is leaving for a business conference for a week and is worried about the safety of his family while he is away.
Problem : Recent thefts happening in the neighborhood has him worried that his home might be next.
Goal : Mr. Murphy wants a way to to keep his family safe and secure especially when he is not with them.
Desired Outcome : The app allows Mr. Murphy to control all the security devices installed within the house, the motion sensors, cameras and floodlights. This helps Mr. Murphy monitor any irregular motion outside or inside the house, and the access security video feed remotely from his smart phone.
Persona : Betty
Situation : Betty has had a long day at work. She returns home late one cold evening.
Problem : She fumbles with the door lock keypad since it's dark, meanwhile trying to manage her heavy bag. Betty also struggles to find the light switches once inside the house. She is tired and this only frustrates her further.
Goal : She just wants to have some hot coffee, make herself warm and relax for sometime.
Desired Outcome : The app allows Betty to sync her devices like the door lock, the ecobee thermostat and the philips hue bulbs for her to be able to control all of them remotely. Betty can now set the room temperature to a desired level minutes before she gets home. She can switch on lights when she is at the driveway and also unlock the door right from her phone to avoid struggling with her bags in the dark.
Persona : Gary
Situation : Gary is on the freeway driving towards the airport when he realizes that he has left the lights in the bedroom running.
Problem : Gary is very cost conscious and this makes him worried about the electricity bill since he will be home only the following week. If he returns home now he will miss his flight.
Goal : Gary wants to set the home to an away mode where the lights are out, the thermostat is adjusted to a power saving mode and the security system is armed.
Desired Outcome : The app not only notifies Gary about the lights that the left turned on, but also allows him to switch them off with a click. It also allows Gary to set an away mode on his phone that syncs all devices to a certain setting desired by Gary. Now Gary can turn the mode ON and the devices will be set to the saved preferences.
The tool must be easy to learn and simple to use.
Experienced users should be able to quickly modify settings to make the most out of the app.
Smart homes are highly event-driven. This results in different behavior of a set of devices with respect to the system’s state (e.g., at home/home away).
The ability to impose timing constraints on the system is crucial.
higher valued services like weather forecast sync for adjusting temperature control.
'Homagic' makes your home
The app ‘Homagic’ is like a personal minion that takes care of everything around the house from A-Z.
Set up home, devices, rooms & members
I set out to illustrate user flows for a context scenario developed for one of the personas. Since there are many ways to explore the user interaction flows with the app, I first identified a single situation with key interaction touch points where the user might use this app the most.
Persona Betty is returning home after a long day's work
Key interaction touch points :
Assumption : Betty has already completed the onboarding, set her home profile, routines and modes.
User is on his way home from work. The app detects this and suggests if the user wants to start the homecoming routine to get the home ready to welcome the user with a perfect setting and coffee
Unlock the app, go to routine settings and edit the coffee flavor to cappuccino.
User is home. The app detects this and suggests if the user to change the mode from Away to Stay in order to switch off the security, temperature and indoor light settings.
Go mode Stay, change aroma settings to Almond and apply changes to activate mode
These key path scenarios helped me to understand how a user interacts with the app to perform tasks he/she wants to complete.
After I fleshed out the key path scenarios as hi-fidelity comps, Itested them with users. I went back to my interviewees to do the testing andconsolidated all the testing session insights into a feedback capture grid highlighting positives, negatives, questions and opportunities
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