User Experience (UX) Challenges Facing IoT Application Design

      User Experience (UX) Challenges Facing IoT Application Design

      If you didn’t already know, the IoT sector is growing to become a pretty significant contender in the world of tech. With around 20.4 billion IoT devices in operation as of last year, and a sizable market share that doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon, many developers are looking for a slice of the IoT pie.

      Yet, while it would definitely be foolish to ignore this burgeoning market sector, IoT is still very much in its infancy, meaning that there are still challenges that developers will need to overcome in order to offer a quality end product, especially when it comes to app design. One such issue that will need to be addressed is that of user experience (UX) and its blend with IoT devices. 

      Here we look into a few obstacles that UX designers may run into when working with IoT and how they can be properly addressed to ensure an app that fits the clients needs.

      Differing interfaces

      As IoT solutions rely on multiple devices, there will invariably be a diverse number of interfaces to deal with. It’s unlikely that the smart thermostat interface developed by one company will be similar to an IoT-enabled fridge’s interface, making integration especially tricky. 

      The best way a UX designer can address these issues is by creating a consistent ‘unification of feel’. What we mean by this is that a theme needs to run through the physical device, the interfaces it uses and any application that runs parallel to it. In order to succeed here, your UX team needs to have a close relationship with hardware developers to ensure ample knowledge transfer and an end product with an intuitive feel. 

      Onboarding difficulties

      While the idea of being able to simply utter a command to your fridge to order groceries or program your smart toaster to cook the perfect slice of toast seems fun and handy to begin with, the actual set-up of the processes involved with IoT devices can be difficult for the uninitiated. With multiple devices, all with various authentication processes, confusing set-ups can lead to frustration and time-wasting, which is why simplified onboarding is so important to get right. 

      Rather than relying on passwords for authentication, verification codes can make the process effortless while maintaining a high level of security and can be a great start to simplifying your onboarding process. 

      Lack of personalization

      Consumers have already been exposed to the benefits of personalization via their phones, tablets and computers, yet, as IoT is still in its infancy, this essential component is sometimes left by the wayside, to the detriment of future users. 

      With this in mind, IoT systems and the apps that run on them will need to use the data that they collect to offer a wholly unique experience to the user. This issue can be rectified by the increased adoption of AI and machine learning to ensure that information is being both adequately collected and utilised effectively.