ConnectHome

An IoT application for automated smart home management with a slick and informative user experience

Collaboration:

2017–2018

connectHome

Business context

ConnectHome is an IoT device manufacturer and an IoT management software vendor. The company asked us to create an engaging and informative user experience for their home automation app. With this software product, the company would provide additional services and increase customer lifetime value.
See how we elaborated a design solution to help the company retain their target audience and attract new investors.

Solutions

Software functionality

ConnectHome is a home automation service that allows users to:

  • control their smart home accessories (lights, switches, cameras, etc.)
  • stay informed about what’s happening around their property even when they’re far away from home
  • manage their smart ConnectHome devices via the company’s website or iOS app

Technology powering ConnectHome

All ConnectHome devices work on the basis of Z-Wave technology, which is a wireless radio technology that allows smart devices to connect with and talk to each other. Z-Wave-enabled devices create a mesh network among themselves that gets stronger when more devices are added. Household products such as lights, thermostats, and door locks become “smart” thanks to a low-duty Z-Wave radio transceiver that supports the Z-Wave radio layer.

The main component of a Z-Wave system is a Z-Wave hub that receives a command sent via a mobile app (say, “close the garage door”). Then the hub transfers this command from one Z-Wave device to another until it reaches the target device (the garage door controller). This journey then results in the garage door being closed. All of this happens wirelessly without any interruption to your home or your Wi-Fi network.

UX design

Having studied our client’s project and requirements, we also researched the home automation market along with existing solutions. This research gave us a couple of useful insights into the proper user experience flow.

The UX stage began with creating the basic information architecture, which includes such details as typical user actions and possible use case scenarios along with the UI elements that are most convenient to interact with. Next, we created a number of user task flows described below.

Navigation

The app’s basic functionality is divided into several logical parts to make navigation easier. The tab bar panel includes Dashboard, Rooms, Devices, and Security tabs.

Dashboard

We made the Dashboard the first and central screen of the ConnectHome app, providing a quick overview of all devices. The Dashboard provides information about a home’s current status and gives users access to smart accessories quickly, without any extra pushes or swipes.

Room appliance management

Rooms can only be created on the company’s website. After they’re created, they’re automatically displayed in the mobile app. You can then navigate your house in the app and get updates on the status of each of your rooms.

Device management

The Devices screen is where all of your smart home devices are gathered. Devices are sorted by room and also by type, which enables quick and easy navigation. There’s no need to jump between all your devices to manage them. In ConnectHome, devices can be controlled using force touch and long taps right from the main screen.

We also created a separate screen for thermostat management that gives access to a home’s climate control system (users can switch on and off their heating and cooling systems as well as change the temperature). The thermostat screen also shows statistics (a chart) of temperature changes over the course of a day, week, or month.

Security

The Security screen allows users to observe their property by accumulating data from video cameras set up around the home. Moreover, based on data from motion sensors, users get a chart showing if there’s anybody inside the home.

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Results

  • Z-Wave technology for connecting devices in the network
  • Dashboards and rooms for device management and set-up
  • Statistics on device use and temperature changes
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  • Increased customer retention
  • Ability to attract new investment