SmartThings Recommender


Company: SmartThings

Date: April 2016 – Sept 2016

People: Nate Becker UX Lead, 1 Visual Design Lead

Type: Mobile

One thing our current app experience is missing is a communication with the user. Our MVP for Recommender begins our communication with the user with a simple way to educate and explore SmartThings within our app. Our main goal was to find a way to educate the user on automating their connected devices after their initial connection to SmartThings. Recommender was created based on feedback from users and their many requests for help within the app to do certain things.

If we can suggest automations based on their devices or simple interactions within the app we may be able to help them create the smart home they bought SmartThings for. If a user gets value out of security, how can we recommend more devices or automations that helps them obtain this goal.


Ideation & Brainstorming

We needed a start to recommender and because it will require logic in our cloud to return results we needed to define requirements for a small set of devices and interactions within our app. How does a user get back to recommender? What drives them there? Many questions to answer for a users motivation to use our new product.

Cleaning up the flows

Wireframes & Interactions

As we refined the requirements we developed the flows and use cases. There were several types of recommendations that would exist so we had to define how each one would work and interact within our view. For example when we suggested an automation how a user would install it in the recommender view. 

A few changes

User testing

We created a working prototype and added it our weekly user testing. We got great feedback on how users were interacting and engaging with the recommender. All users loved the recommendations however when it appeared in the flows were important. To keep the user moving forward and not distracted from connecting devices we are testing how ‘locked’ content performs. 

The details

Final design & Guidelines

As our final product moved into development we developed guidelines for our recommendation cards. This would make it easier for our developers to stub out the views while we finalized the details of interaction with the user. Our interactive prototype is available below. Don’t be surprised if one day you view it and the visuals have changed. We constantly iterate on designs.