SmartThings TV Hub

Mobile, TV

Company: SmartThings

Date: Dec 2015 – May 2016

People: Nate Becker UX Lead, 1 Visual Design Lead

Type: Mobile App, TV,

SmartThings TV as a Hub was a large project that demanded our entire mobile app to be examined from our ‘Getting Started Experience’ to our in-life experience. We worked with Samsung’s Video Display team, who initially created the app, to take the existing experience and integrate it with our mobile app.

Our goal is to create the best possible experience for setting up the TV as a SmartThings hub quickly, guide them thru device setup, and get the user into the app without frustration. To better our design and development process we have been user testing every week after our first working build of the TV app and mobile app improvements.


Ideation & Brainstorming

The TV as a SmartThings Hub began with lots of ideation on whiteboards and stacks of sticky notes. The complication begins with an additional piece of hardware that exists only for the TV called the extend. It’s a separate dongle with the Zigbee and Z-Wave chips. Because of this use case we had to go back to the ‘Getting Started Experience.’ 

Cleaning up the flows

High Level Flows

We begin our documentation with high level flows. We needed to show all stakeholders how the TV would interact with our mobile app. Due to tight time constraints we had to develop the best possible user experience with limited engineering resources. Our main goal was to eliminate the current login on the tv with OAuth using our mobile app to sign in the user magically while activating the hub in the TV. 

The details

Wireframes & Use Cases

After high level flows were approved and reviewed by the executive team we moved forward to define all use cases in the mobile app and flows within the TV app as well. At this time we worked with our engineering and product team weekly to make sure our experience is fine tuned and all edge cases have been documented. 

Visual design and fine tuning

Final Products

During the final builds of the mobile app and TV app we were constantly fine tuning our experience based on feedback from our user testing groups and internal stakeholders. We made all deadlines and passed our QA tests in Korea. We still have yet to make it public but our response at CES was great.