The Importance of User Experience Research for IoT Solutions

Sudeep Srivastava May 23, 2022
The Importance of User Experience Research for IoT Solutions

The Internet of Things (IoT) is invading our daily lives in a way that is unthinkable by any other form of technology. We see life where the apps on our smartphones help us open up the garage, turn on the electricity and prepare the coffee for us. Everything under IoT is about providing an excellent user experience. 

It’s an ideal world governed by applications, gadgets, face recognition, and, most importantly, an amazing user experience (UX). User experience caters to the design of a service or product, fulfilling the user’s needs. 

What is User Experience (UX) in IoT?

UX in IoT

UX specifically adds value to any IoT product by making it user centric. Usually, during IoT software development, research is conducted on the UX to understand the users and assess their needs thoroughly. UX includes interactions with services, products, and devices and is characterized by certain features like appealing aesthetics, easy usability, smooth communications, and technical support above all. Everything that is used by the users falls under user experience.

This is probably why IoT-based organizations are looking for reliable UI/UX designing services because an appropriate user experience will mean dedicated, loyal customers for their business. We see that the digital businesses and enterprises are constantly trying to push towards the end of the spectrum, where the bottom line is UX IoT design.

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How is the User Experience for the Internet of Things different from the regular UX?

Designing UX for the Internet of Things raises challenges on cross-platform. While considering these devices, we have a much wider variety of device form factors, and many of these devices are not accompanied by screens. On top of these, many of these devices are intermittently connected. So, parts of the system will be out of sync, creating discontinuities in the user experience.

User experience for IoT includes everything from standard paths to structures to tricks; however, you won’t just be designing the actions users want. You also need to make these products personalized on a user basis and connect to possible IoT devices. 

Besides, the most significant factor in IoT is the Internet. This means, in the absence of the internet, your product may fail to respond or connect. This is again a massive hit to the user and may not lead to satisfaction. The difference occurs here when the user has to tap on buttons repeatedly, and no visual result is seen.

Hence, IoT-based product designs require a different approach; it asks for a network of things instead of just one screen. So every time your team works on IoT UX design, they might need a wild set of functionality while keeping the system feeling consistent. This obviously asks for a detailed understanding and research on IoT and related factors, which brings us to our next point of discussion. 

Why is User Experience necessary for IoT solutions? 

“Necessity is the root of innovation.” 

As quoted above, you can capture necessity into your product or design with an appealing user experience. UX is definitely the best approach to add value to IoT for both the consumer and industrial domain. How? It enhances user-friendliness and brings delight to the users. A good IoT user experience design can get your IoT product to its full potential by making a positive user-machine interaction. What else UX offers to IoT based solutions

Here are three major aspects:

Impeccable usability

The whole concept of usex experience relies on usability. The overall usability of the device should be suitable to the user even with a little technical knowledge. 

This simply tells us to create products that guarantee better usability than the last product. 

For instance- voice recognition replacing the touch recognition due to higher usability and lessen efforts.

Familiarity to human psychology

IoT is a technology introduced to minimize human efforts. Hence your product will only feel familiar to the user if s/he is able to get something meaningful out of it giving minimum effort. The users must put all their faith in the devices when they save their valuable time. This familiarity factor increases with a good UX. 

A good UX exhibits user needs and user efforts.

Superior Technology

Advertising and marketing are not going to help if your product fails in adding value to the user’s life. Even in the IoT era, word of mouth is still the biggest sales driver which means your product is only going to sell if your users trust the features and technology and are ready to adapt the product.  

Here, the UX design will ensure that it meets the expectations and needs of the customers in an exceedingly better way.

IoT App Development Services

The must-haves in your IoT user experience design

Now that we know how essential UX can be while designing IoT solutions for the users, let’s now see some must-haves in your IoT user experience designs.

Consistency

One should believe in staying consistent with structures and matters when it comes to UX IoT design. IoT products are highly varied today, which might confuse many users. This is why we should always strive to have unifying elements in designs to easily navigate functions even with very little knowledge of the product. 

Familiarity 

Another big priority should be familiarity. The current IoT devices serve a brilliant take on the user’s routine, be it smart TV, a smartwatch, or a mere thermostat. These gadgets are designed so that their looks are true to the user’s interaction. In simple words, all of the IoT devices feel familiar to the users even when they haven’t used them. 

For example, you would set a smart thermostat just like a regular thermostat except with much convenience. This familiar process is all a device needs. 

Simplicity (Minimalistic)

Speaking of simplicity, remember that this aspect of your design is not going anywhere. Irrespective of the IoT product you are making, your UX should be simple and easy to navigate, and it’s all about delivering an experience that feels intuitive and effortless. 

For instance, you come home, press a few buttons, your house is all lit up, the thermostat has started to warm the house, and your smart TV is playing your preferred movie in low volume, just how you like it effortlessly. 

This is what IoT promises, and this is precisely how IoT design should deliver. 

Security and privacy

Cyber security is a table stake for IoT survival. Undertaking privacy issues within both the connected devices and the IoT structure is of premium importance. This factor also concerns the UI/UX corner. There are valid user issues with the data stored in cyberspace on how the data channels are protected. A challenge for designers is to provide a high security level while not compromising with the design flow. It takes a UI/UX talent combined with IoT software development services to create such interfaces. 

Bonus Tips for your UX IoT research

IoT based solutions include wireless connectivity to physical objects, which means they link physical to digital. These IoT devices can take a variety of forms and provide a number of services, and this means our primary objective should understand the range of user interaction. 

Therefore, here are a few tips to help you understand the user-IoT interaction. 

User research

The more you research your user, the better you understand how your IoT product design fits into their lives. This gives a better chance to resonate with the consumers. In order to conduct user research before designing your product, ask a few questions. 

  • Who are your users?
  • How will users utilize your product?
  • How will your user tackle their problem by using your product? 
  • How often would your users use your product?

With insights you gained from the research, you can create a user journey map and share it with your IoT design and development team. To gain further insights on UX delivery, you can read, The Timeless List of UX Deliverables.   

Customer satisfaction

Another tip is to keep your customer satisfied. A happy customer is one of the biggest benefits of a refined user experience. When your designs are intuitive and personalized, they boost customer satisfaction and ultimately help with customer loyalty. 

Customer experience journey mapping (design thinking)

Customer experience journey mapping

A customer experience journey map helps you digitally visualize your user’s entire journey. Following a design thinking methodology while mapping your user journey helps you create “People Aware” IoT products. It allows you to track how users engage with your product. You can find missed opportunities, tweak what features you missed, and enhance those just in time. 

Usability testing 

At the end of your design process, user testing or usability testing will give you a picture of the product quality. You can cross-check every product feature and functionality and make changes accordingly before actually rolling out the product to the users. 

How can Appinventiv help you?

Appinventiv can transform your business processes through smart IoT solutions. We understand how essential it is to maintain speed, security and scalability with modern IoT technologies. Our IoT software development team can contribute to scale up your business productivity and efficiency. Let us know how we can help you. Connect with us!

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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