The My Home mobile App for IOS helps users to control home devices using their smartphones. I created the application design from scratch using a design thinking approach.
The Task
The client came with an existing home management system. It was necessary to create an application that would be included with the sale of this system. The problem was making the most user-friendly interface while favorably distinguishing itself from competitors.
The Solution
I proposed interviewing potential users to identify key pain points in using such applications. Then conduct competitor research to create a unique yet user-friendly design. In other words, I used the design thinking approach to complete this task.
My role and responsibilities
  • Conducting interviews
  • Paper and digital wireframing
  • Low and high-fidelity prototyping
  • Conducting usability studies
  • Accounting for accessibility
  • Iterating on designs
User research:

During the ideation phase of the project, I conducted user interviews to build new personas and to inform the design. I prepared an interview script with 10 open-ended questions, focusing on our target audience’s values, motivations, and daily routines. In 4 days, I recruited and interviewed 6 users remotely and referenced the user interview findings throughout the design process.

After that, I created empathy maps to understand the users I was designing for and their needs. A primary user group identified through research was working adults with many high-tech devices at home.

This user group confirmed initial assumptions about Smart Home App customers. An application that is too simple will not suit more advanced users. At the same time, other users are afraid of the possible complexity of the application. It is necessary to balance simplicity and the possibility of complexity.

Interviews insights

  • “It will be too difficult, and something will always break. I love new technologies but want to avoid fixing anything myself. All the systems that I saw seemed to be complicated.”
    Respondent 1
  • “Beautiful, fast, and accessible. And, of course, so that it is easy, otherwise you press something wrong.”
    Respondent 2
  • “What confuses me in these systems is that you must constantly update, and any breakdowns may be critical. Serious professionals are required here.”
    Respondent 3
  • “The minimum number of settings and buttons so I can easily find the switch on / off. With highlights and hints. For example, if you change this parameter, it will look like this.”
    Respondent 4
Pain points
People are afraid of using too complex applications. They love new technologies but don't want to fix anything. All the systems they saw seemed too complicated.
People can`t manage there with intelligent home systems without tech support. They want to connect all devices in one place and customize their widgets easily.
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Customer Journey Map
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A Part of the User Flow
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Wireframes & Low-Fidelity Prototype
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Using the completed set of digital wireframes, I created a low-fidelity prototype. The primary user flow I connected was changing settings of the termostat
Usability study findings:
I conducted two rounds of usability studies. Findings from the first study helped guide the designs, from wireframes to mockups. The second study used a high-fidelity prototype and revealed what aspects of the mockups needed refining.

Round 1 findings

  • Users want to move between devices not only rooms
  • Users want to see all active devices

Round 2 findings

  • Users want to schedule any device
  • Users want to customize the home page
Usability study: before/after
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High-Fidelity Mockups and Prototype
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Accessibility considerations
  • Provided access to users who are vision impaired through adding alt text to images for screen readers
  • Used icons to help make navigation easier
The app makes users enjoy their smart home system.

One quote from peer feedback:
The app made it so easy to set up temperature, turn off the slow-cooker, answer the camera call. I would use this app more and more.
While designing the Smart Home app, I learned that the first ideas for the app are only the beginning of the process.

Usability studies and peer feedback influenced each iteration of the app’s designs.
  • Conduct another round of usability studies to validate whether the pain points users experienced have been effectively addressed
  • Conduct more user research to determine any new areas of need
Thank you for your time
Natalia Sannikova