5 Tips for Designing Exceptional User Experiences for IoT Devices

Designing great user experience is one thing and doing it for IoT devices is another. Despite all the tools available at our disposal, creating a mobile app from scratch is not easy. When you consider the number of IoT devices, the task becomes even more difficult. Each device has a diverse interface and has unique functions. Each one has different input and output mechanisms. Then there is user rights distribution across different devices and we are just getting started.

Designing IoT Devices

When you are dealing with various devices having multiple interactions, each having different user flows and functionality, your focus should be on building a consistent and smooth user experience helping users navigate from one screen to another without any hassle. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.

With such a daunting challenge at your hands, how can your design user experiences that users will fall in love with? In this article, you will find the answer to this question. Here are five tips that will help you design brilliant user experience for IoT devices.

1. Simplified Onboarding

Whenever you introduce a new system in your organization, you will face resistance. Did you know why? Because people are used to old system and they don’t want to invest time and effort in learning how the new system works. Same holds true for IoT.

If you make the onboarding process simpler, you can overcome this issue. Instead of passwords, use secure, seamless authentication with code verification. This becomes even more important when you have to switch between devices. The best example in this case is Nest. They launched a family of products from smart security cameras to doorbells. You can control all that from a smartphone app, web or smart watch. All you need is to go through the code-based authentication and you are good to go.

2. Context and Personalization is King

Personalization is no longer a luxury, it is quickly becoming a necessity with modern technology products. With access to user data, you can analyze user behavior and identify patterns to provide a more refined experience. With data being the cornerstone of IoT, new, personalized applications are being developed for IoT devices.

Today, you can find socks equipped with sensors collecting data from runner routes, track movement of the sole and evaluate workout efficiency. You can find smart cars tracking your route and memorizing the best routes. Smart thermostats analyze temperatures you set and set it as soon as you enter the room. There are only some of the examples why personalization will be a driver of IoT applications.

If you want to take things one step further, you should focus on designing context-based user experience so that the right device responds in the right context. For instance, smart watch should work when you are on the move or digital assistant should work when you are in the car. Take a look at what Amazon’s Alexa does. It learns from your voice and adjust functionality and dialogue according to user data.

3. Unified Experience

One of the biggest challenges in user experience design is bridging the gap between physical IoT devices and designing a smooth experience across different system elements. Integration with third party services and vendors makes matter worse. In such a scenario, UX designers for IoT devices should look to create a seamless, unified user experience. Your goals should be to integrate many independent components without compromising on the functionality and reliability. The same can be said for different types of data types.

Solos smart glasses for cycling is the best example in this regard. The glasses collect real time data and shows you heart rate, speed, power, distance, navigation on the tiny display on the glass surface. Other data such as activity log, analytics, measurements and other information can easily be seen on the mobile app.

4. Smoother Cross Device Interaction

If you want to develop consistent user experiences across multiple IoT devices then, you must harness the power of cloud. Offer your users seamless transition with minimal effort by benefiting from cloud-based apps. It saves your time from being wasted and keep your system up to date.

Responsive design in internet of things takes things a step further by covering all devices, platforms and software. Therefore, you need tight connection between physical design and the functionality of each device and that is what

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Nest IoT based devices has certain design patterns to distribute functionality according to device specifics and create user interface relevant to every element of the system. Nest collect real time data from variety of devices stores it in the cloud and let users access up to date information from their mobile app. Design-wise, you use a sensitive wheel on top of the thermostat, slide along the screen on your iPhone and tap arrows on your Apple Watch to increase the temperature.

5. Rise of New Interfaces

There is no denying the fact that the trend of virtual assistants is gaining ground. As the virtual assistant technology improves, we will see the emergence of new interfaces. As far as IoT is concerned, this translates into new opportunities to creating better user experiences.

With smart speakers and voice-based gadgets flooding the market, we will see new devices coming equipped with the digital assistants’ skills. Smart cars such as Tesla Model 3 understand Alexa. Apart from voice, many other user interfaces might emerge. Smart car co-pilot Chris harnesses the power of gesture interface to ensure safe driving.

With advanced biometric technology in place, you don’t have to worry about authentication as it will be faster, securer and convenient. We are seeing emergency of industry specific IoT devices paving way for technologies like Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

Designing great user experiences for IoT devices might not be easy but it has its perks if done right.How do you design brilliant experiences for IoT devices? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments section below.

Author Bio:- Irfan Ak is a digital marketing manager of Taskque & Branex & a guest blogger on various websites. He has worked with various other brands and created value for them.

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