Crafting an exceptional mobile app for the Internet of Things (IoT) requires a strong focus on designing a killer UI and UX. When considering its simplest use cases, the app effectively replaces a light switch or a door lock, both of which provide a highly intuitive interface. Little reason exists for reinventing the wheel. However, even more complex apps still need to be easy to use.
Still, the benefits of building an IoT mobile app with a well-crafted design and interface remain numerous. For example, a great app plays a key role in driving adoption and sales for the IoT platform the app helps control. Bad user perception about a poorly designed app might also transfer to the hardware devices used on the platform. Ultimately, an entire IoT system is only as good as its management app.
So let’s look more closely at some of the best practices for designing an IoT mobile app that provides a great user experience. Leverage these insights to craft something able to attract users and drive engagement for your entire IoT platform. In the end, you want to build something that provides real value to your user base.
Of course, designing a UI that’s intuitive and easy to use remains an important factor in the success of any mobile app. What’s so different about building a similar app for the IoT? One of the biggest reasons for this need for additional focus on IoT app design simply relates to the use-case of most of these apps. Simply stated, they allow the control of a hardware device and thus need to be intuitive for users of a non-technical level.
As we mentioned earlier, a light switch provides an obvious, simple, and timeless UI. Granted, the functionality of some IoT control apps boasts a higher level of complexity as that example. Still, that level of intuitiveness needs to be both an inspiration and a goal for your app design team when first crafting wireframes.
So make it a point to analyze other popular IoT control apps, paying close attention to their UI design approach. Take note of the most intuitive user interfaces, as well as those falling short of the mark. Building something that makes your users’ life easier ultimately helps your app and platform’s adoption and eventual success in the burgeoning IoT market.
Low network latency plays a crucial role in the user perception of any IoT platform. It helps to ensure device control using a mobile app remains highly responsive and interactive. However, app developers remain at the mercy of the network when it comes to this aspect.
Still, take care to build apps with simple interfaces that provide users with meaningful real-time feedback on any network. Designing a straightforward UI serves to reduce bloat throughout the app, ensuring a responsive experience on a mobile device. If network performance is an issue, be sure to let users know with an app message. Also consider providing the means to test network performance in the settings section of the app. Note that it remains critical to hide more complex functionality like this from the regular UI flow of the app.
Given the popularity of voice-activated assistants like Siri and Alexa, consider adding voice recognition capabilities to improve your IoT app’s usability. This is especially the case with app functionality related to IoT consumer applications. This feature becomes less relevant with the more complex functions within an app. As such, spend some time analyzing which functionality benefits from voice control if taking this route.
Word of mouth remains a critical marketing force for any IoT mobile app. So if you want your app to truly make an impact in the mobile tech world, providing a top-shelf experience is a must. If your IoT platform suffers from poor latency with an app that feels sluggish and unresponsive, expect word about it to quickly spread.
This scenario raises the importance of a detailed QA process that simulates a variety of network situations, from fast speed and low latency to the opposite. After identifying your target market early in the project, find super users willing to help your team vet the responsiveness of the app as well as the intuitiveness of its UI/UX approach.
This team of users boasts the potential to essentially become evangelists, helping you build a robust market for your entire IoT platform. However, this effort becomes nearly impossible without an IoT mobile app providing a top-shelf user experience.
If you have a great idea for an IoT mobile app and need help turning it into a reality, connect with our team at NineTwoThree. As a top IoT development agency, we boast a keen mix of exceptional technical chops, strong business acumen, and entrepreneurial spirit. Connect with us to discuss the benefits of a partnership.