Hub.me is the newest incarnation of the Amdocs Connected Home platform, which is a white label security/home automation app used by over 70,000 user around the world.
While the Connected Home backend technology has been constantly improved the UI and certainly the UX were lagging far behind. The product has become too complicated because of its rich features set, cyber security requirements and antiquated UI/UX that were never properly developed and tested.
As Hub.me is a B2B2C product there are 4 sets of research avenues on which I embarked and maintained on an ongoing basis:
1. Competitor Research
There is no shortage of direct competitors in the Home Security and Automation market. Some of the main players in this market segment are: Samsung SmartThings, Xiaomi Mi Smart Home, At&t’s Digital Life, Alarm.com, Nest, Honeywell Home and Vivalabs to name a few. My main task in this research segment is to constantly follow these players and watch for new app version and new features introduced into the marketplace.
2. Direct Customer Research
Each of the 9 customers of Hub.me has different needs and a different language or dialect. My main task in this research segment is to conduct field and phone interviews and quarterly check-ins in order to gage the ever changing needs of my customers.
3. End User Research
End User Research is an ongoing process of learning more about our user’s needs as well as performing user testing of our product on the users. Through interviews and site visits I learn what works for our users and how their day to day is interweaved into our product.
4. Expert Research
Interviews with market players and client stake-holders in order to test our ideas against their knowledge.
Through the construction of Empathy Maps and summery of our many conversations with customers I came up with a list of needs/must haves for the new Connected Home CX/UX/UI:
The new version of the Connected Home app should have:
Direct user access to dashboard, devices, routines and rooms.
Easy “one-touch” user actions on devices, routines and rooms.
A user interface that builds on tap/swipe logic a user already has.
For our Customers we have defined the following 3 goals:
Give our customers the ability to immediately up-sell it’s consumer base with service not currently offered.
Speed up processes and reduce customer friction when signing up, logging in, verifying credentials, adding new devices and new sub users.
Provide our customers with a product that makes them look really good.
My ideas centered around end users (less our direct customers or CSPs).
I honed-in on a UX that was:
Simple and quick to understand
Quick to operate in emergencies
Easily and infinitely expandable
Would work easily in all our markets regardless of the local language.
Here are some initial drawings:
I came up with “The Tile”, a square shaped UI item that would represent any kind of UI assets we have.
The Tile worked really well with homes, zones (partitions), rooms, devices and routines.
Click on above images to launch an image gallery. . [icon name=”rocket”]
Initially focusing on the desktop screen and quickly switching to the phone screen I have been conceptualizing, designing, refining and building the UX/UI we now refer to as hub.me.
I are in an ongoing cycle of constructing and de-constructing every interaction, small and large in the UI.
Here are some examples:
Icons have been designed and re-designed 3 times by now.
The routine creation engine is currently in its 3rd iteration.
Tile submenus were designed and then redesigned.
Tap, Long-Tap and Swipe actions are constantly being revised to fit with evolving user intuition.
Add Device process has been re-created, when done, it will feature tutorials in animation.
Multi Sensor devices have been re configured in order to reflect the end user’s understanding of complex devices.
Icon design system
Our testing process was made to fit our business. Because our business (being B to B to C) we phased our testing so we first test our own customers (CSP’s) in order to get their buy in and then test their customers, the end users.
Throughout this two-phase process we consciously test the product at the Ra’anana Campus, a process that is on-going.
In our phase 1 testing (CSP’s) covered some 40 testers in all levels of seniority from Global Vice Presidents down to field representatives.
Our phase 2 testing had 3 distinct sessions:
December 2017 in London, England – 45 current customers
August-September 2018 in Israel – 20 Amdocs employees
October 2018 in Madrid, Spain – 10 callcenter workers, two subscribers and 1 field installer.
We spent 3 hours with each subscriber and a total of 9 hours with the field installer.