Date: March 2015 – Aug 2015
People: 2 UX Designers, 2 Visual Designers
My first big project at SmartThings was the mobile app redesign. Our goal was to make the user experience as simple as possible while keeping all of the same tools/configurability for our seasoned users. As IoT becomes more mainstream, our consumer experience needed to work for everyone and not just the tinkerers.
We are still constantly improving our app since our initial launch of the redesign with help from our community, app store feedback and internal user testing. We also reach out to our community to let our users know how we are listening to feedback and incorporating back into the app. (see post here.)
We spent a month creating and documenting flow diagrams for the mobile app. Starting with a reimagined navigation we begin sorting our existing content, and new features, into priorities that aligned with engineering tasks.
Defining use cases and creating wireframes.
Because of the complexity of the project we spent roughly a week designing for each area of the app, ‘Routines’ on left for example, defining top level use cases, patterns and flows. However we would iterate on the design for several weeks after. We reviewed as a team weekly (engineering, product, ux and visual) and provided quick feedback.
We worked in tandem with the visual designers to define our interaction design patterns and detail the app’s animations. As we got closer to our deadline we moved into higher fidelity flows to document the details in a specific view (hero tile for audio shown here.) Our product was really starting to take shape.
Visual design and fine tuning
As I noted above, we are constantly fine tuning our app to create the best user experience available in the IoT space. We are still striving to reduce complexity however it’s not easy when it’s not just UI alone. We constantly work with hardware, cloud and product to reexamine all aspects of the user experience of SmartThings.