Being able to control parts of a home or factory using a smartphone, tablet, or even a wearable continues to create significant opportunities in the mobile app development market. As such, any digital studio hoping to target this emerging need must understand how to create effective app designs for IoT management. In the end, crafting an easy to use and responsive app remains critical.
While most of the growth in IoT lies in the manufacturing and industrial sector (the IIoT), this emerging tech also enjoys wider use in consumer markets. In the latter case, home automation continues to drive the smart home concept, allowing users to control lights, shades, and other residential appliances using a mobile device.
With a goal of crafting effective mobile apps for controlling IoT devices, check out this collection of the most critical elements in this type of app design. For these kinds of applications, an intuitive design and easy operation become critical. After all, consider the ease in which users manually operate home lighting, locks, and HVAC systems. In a sense, that level of simplicity needs to be your team’s goal.
IoT App Development Needs to Make The Complex Simple
Notably, many IoT apps, especially in the manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics sectors, need to model highly complex systems. As such, many apps end up being more complicated than remotely controlling a light switch. But at the same time, your mobile development team needs to design an intuitive interface easy for the user to grasp.
Needless to say, this core need for simplicity challenges any mobile app architect to craft an effective design. Additionally, screen real estate considerations definitely come into play when designing the user interface. Therefore, one critical question first needs to be answered: what kinds of mobile devices are being targeted? Smartphones, tablets of different sizes, and even smartwatches all remain possibilities, with each platform influencing the UI in different ways.
Mobile App Design Considerations For IoT Device Management
Beyond crafting a simple and effective mobile app UI, other important design considerations also matter. So let’s take a closer look at some of the most vital functionality to potentially include in your IoT app.
- Personalization: One of the most critical aspects of building an intuitive mobile app for a complex IoT process involves some level of personalization. No matter the type of application, users want a measure of control over the user interface. Because of this need, be sure to conduct targeted research with potential users of the app. Also consider each different user persona in this research.
- Seamless Remote Accessibility: It goes without saying that any mobile app used to control an IoT device or systems needs to provide remote accessibility. At the same time, a seamless and responsive user experience is a must. The system must respond to user input with no delay. Using a 5G network with low latency helps achieve this level of responsiveness.
- Fast Alerting and Notifications: Be sure to build highly-responsive alerting and notification into the app. However, users need the ability to control how many alerts they receive. Be sure to cover this topic when deeply engaged in user research and testing. Obviously, users always need to be notified of some critical alerts, but provide the ability to prioritize all notifications.
- Compelling Data Visualization Features: A mobile app supporting a complex IoT system needs strong data visualization functionality. At a glance, a user needs to be able to check on the current status of any IoT device or an entire system. Being able to graph historical data also provides useful insights into system performance.
- A Consistent Design Throughout The App: Design consistency plays a critical role in any mobile app’s usability. Leverage a consistent design approach while considering user feedback to ensure your UI/UX concepts meet their needs.
Don’t Forget to Include Specific Mobile Capabilities
Building a compelling mobile app for the IoT requires you to focus on providing users with an exceptional experience. Part of this approach involves the inclusion of the latest mobile functionality where relevant. These potential features include voice recognition, near field communication (NFC), RFIR readability, and more.
Again, cover this area when researching the feature set with the potential users of the app. Prioritize the features to include based on the time and budget for the development effort. Arguably, the most important consideration needs to be the overall performance of the app. Without providing seamless and responsive control of an IoT system, expect the app to make little impact.
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