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Project Duration  

7 month, Aug 2016

Responsibility  

The lead UX designer of Home Automation Project

Software

Sketch, Flinto, AE

The Mercedes companion app gives users access to their Mercedes-Benz from anywhere. Start the engine, lock the doors, or get technical help at the push of a button.

Home Automation is a new section we added on the Mercedes Companion app as a new feature. It allows users loading “scenes” from HomeKit, Nest, and SmartThings and using the vehicle’s GPS  to trigger “scenes” based on the distance to a location.

 

As the only UX designer in the team. My work including discover and define customer problems, develop potential solutions, conduct user study and in the end Deliver the product.

 

Design Process

 

DISCOVER

User Interviews

Journey Map

DEFINE

Problem Definition

How Might We

DEVELOP

Solutions

Wireframe

Prototypes

User Study

DELIVER

UI Design

Micro Interactions

Data Points

QA

DISCOVER

Pain Points

We conducted a user interview with real customers to refreshing minds and discover pain points under the current driving experience.

We found that there is a gap when Customer transit from vehicle to their home. 

 

Vehicles and IoT devices are both smart devices that our customers use every day but under current experience, there is no connection, no data sharing between them. 

 

I hope my car can tell my house to open the garage and turn on the heater in my apartment before I arrive, so I don’t have to wait.

Customer, Daly City

DEFINE

How Might We

How might we leverage the existing resources to close the gap between users’ vehicles and smart home?   

DEVELOP

A

2 Concepts

View workflow

While developing, the team has 2 different viewpoints of information architecture and layout design.

Some of us believe our user might prefer to have a clean interface to see current setups for home, like Concept A.

The rest of the group think the user might prefer to see a whole list of IoT systems so they can easily access and customize IoT scenes.

B

 

DEVELOP

User Study

To compare the usability of two UI concepts and understand user’s behaviors, experiences, and motivations. We conducted a user study among 10 participants by using the Think-Aloud technique.

Demographics
&background

Personal information

Familiarity with IoT 

Think-Aloud
Approach

15-minute narrative

Completion of 10 tasks

Concepts
Comparison

Ease of use Favorability 

Advantages/ Disadvantages

Data
Analytics

10 task completion

User Comparison result

DEVELOP

Study Findings

Efficiency

Is the Information Hierarchy indicates how content related and makes it easy for user to access information?

Learnability

How will users quickly grasp how to use the feature?

Did the UI support the user’s expectation?

Findings |

Efficiency

Is the Information Hierarchy indicates how content related and makes it easy for the user to access information?

We found:

The original Information architecture is not clear, users confused that how geofences and systems relate to a location.

So We:

Put the most common use cases on the first level and move other use cases deeper.

Meanwhile, we still make it easy to find everything that’s deeper in the app.

Findings |

Learnability

Did the UI support the user’s expectation?

 

1. The map helped explains the concept of the geofence

 

2. Descriptive labels will help users find information and

 it also teaches the user how the concept works.

 

3. A right icon will be a good indicator.

Concept 1 - V.1

Concept 2 - V.2

How will users quickly grasp how to use the feature?

 

We found:

Users confused when they see default terms and unfamiliar gestures.

So we:

1. Instead of showing default terms on the top level, we use their customized scenes title to Reduce users’ learning curve.

2. Add help text. It is a helpful tool to clarify the process and explain the gesture. 

Both concepts showed a combination of aspects tested well. In the end of the study, I designed V.3 that emerged the most user-friendly aspects of both versions. 

Study Summaries

DEVELOP

Low-fidelity prototypes of V.3

 

DELIVER

UI Design

Both concepts showed a combination of aspects tested well. In the end of the study, I designed V.3 that emerged the most user-friendly aspects of both versions. 

flow.png

DELIVER

IMPACT

Home Automation was launched in 2017 on both app store and google play, people from over 20 countries are using it. Mercedes is the first one in the automotive industry to integrate IoT to the driving experience.

 2.8x 

 +1 

90-day retention rate

(compared to other App features.)

App Ratings