Connected devices that are integrated with our smartphones are the next big thing, and it’s already beginning to take over. For those who are not familiar, IoT is the network of objects (devices, vehicles, appliances, etc.) that are embedded with technology, enabling them to communicate with each other.
Connectivity issues are one factor that can make a user have a bad experience with IoT. The Internet of Things is essentially nothing without a network connection. Most IoT enables devices today use WiFi, however, it is often when there is a bad connection when you’re trying to use a mobile application, or load a website. If connectivity is poor when a user is trying to get in their home, via an IoT device, that makes for a terrible user experience. One of the main purposes of IoT is to make people’s lives easier, but with a poor connection, this could mean the opposite. It is crucial for user experience designers and software developers to take this into consideration while working with IoT.
UX Designers need to keep in mind that there are already ‘dumb’ versions of these devices, and that they already have been a part of the user’s life before. So, the main focal point of an application must be the most basic purpose of the device. If the application doesn’t simplify a task, why would they want to use it? This may vary between what types of device it is, for example, a fitness tracker. An application that pairs with a fitness tracker just needs to display data (so designers may be able to have a little more fun with it.) But, an application integrating with a thermostat, needs to be more user-friendly, and give users a seamless experience when trying to change the temperature of the room from their couch. It is very important to partner with the right people when designing an app for IoT
Another factor that is challenging when it comes to IoT, is that there are multiple interfaces that a user may have to use, to connect with all of their devices. A user may have one mobile app for their smart car, another app for their FitBit, and one more for your smart home. This, could break the experience of IoT. There are few major companies that are currently trying to solve this issue, by creating an open standard where all IoT devices can communicate centrally.
About The Author :
This article was written by Codal’s writer. Codal is a full-stack UX design and application development agency with a focus on blending an agile and innovation process with the latest emerging technologies including iOS, android & PHP development services.
Strategy | User Experience | Development