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Smart Home Application

Problem Statement

In today’s technologically driven time, we are moving towards a phase where we want maximum tasks to be automated. To do that, we install intelligent appliances in our houses, but the main problem is that a different application controls each appliance. So if you have five intelligent appliances in your house, you need to install five different applications on your mobile, which is very space-consuming and confusing to maintain. In my innovative home application project, I have tried to solve this problem by building an application prototype that connects with all smart home appliances. The application helps you connect with many appliances, such as the doorbell, thermostat, door lock, etc.

Design Funnel Techinque

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One of the ultimate goals of a design process is to help designers and engineers navigate the design space with confidence. As we learn more, we find more constraints, set more assumptions, make more design decisions, and focus more on detail; the narrower the design space becomes for generating ideas, the anti-convergence of views alternate, with the process gradually converging to the final concept. Each stage is iterative and granular in idea exploration. 

Process of Design Funnel:

  • State your design challenge.

  • Generate ten or more different system design concepts that address this challenge.

  • Reduce the number of design concepts.

  • Choose the most promising design concept(s) as a starting point.

  • Produce ten details and variations of a particular design concept.

  • Present your best idea(s) to a group.

  • As your ideas change, sketch them out.

WireFrame

Once the solution was in place, I moved toward building the sketched wireframe before building a high-fidelity prototype. Once the wireframe is ready, the next step is to test it with users for feedback.

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Think aloud Method

For evaluating the wireframe of the Smart home application, I conducted a Think aloud method with 2 participants. The participants were given a little introduction about the application and were asked to think aloud about what they thought of it while using it.

Participants 1 Observation:

  • Found the application more convenient to use as compared to apps he had used before.

  • The idea of downloading past video records since the application stores the video record.

  • As the head of the house, he has the authority to add and remove the members he wants to have access to the devices so he can now decide if his kids should have access or not.

  • Software gives you updates about the condition of your camera or doorbell etc.

  • He can access notifications or settings from anywhere in the application.

Participants 2 Observation:

  • The most important thing he liked is the thermostat to give your idea of energy usage since she is a student and needs to have a record of spending.

  • Really liked the idea of controlling things from a cell phone.

  • She liked the idea of answering the doorbell when not at home using a cell phone since she is in lecture and cannot answer every time.

  • She liked how she can go back to the main page from anywhere in application

Design Pattern

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Suitable interfaces begin with understanding the people for whom it is being created. What they are like, why they use a given piece of software, and how they would interact. The more you know about them, the more effectively you can design for them. The design patterns help the designer develop a better interface to satisfy user needs. While developing the dating website prototype, I used a design pattern that helped make it more efficient for the end users. 

   Design Pattern:

  • Modal Panel

  • Titles Section

  • Dashboard

  • Prominent “Done” Button or Assumed Next Step

  • Vertical Stack

  • Generous Borders

  • Collections and card

  • Bottom Navigation

 Interactive Prototype- Tool used Balsamiq Wireframes

This mobile application is for innovative home companies that produce smart devices like Video doorbells, smart thermostats, and smart locks. The application is built for users who use innovative home products, and using the software, users can control their smart home devices. In this application, users can add or remove rooms, add or remove members, get access to the device page, look up notifications, and change the setting using the dashboard of the application. 

Interactive Tools:
 

  • Button

  • Clickable icon

  • Tiles

  • Back Button

  • Checkbox

  • Date picker

  • On/off switch

  • Up/down arrow button

  • Dropdown

  • Scrollable content

Giving And Receiving Design Critique Well

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Good critique is not just about finding faults. The judgments we form can and should cover the work's positive and negative aspects. As critics, we should strive for fairness, honesty, and empathy. With this attitude, critique looks more like a creative task than a destructive one. In this project, one of the sections was to provide analysis to other classmates on their project and also receive their critique on my project using a critique 10-point checklist.

  • Is aware of the relationship between critic and critique.

  • Forms a judgment on both positive and negative aspects of the work.

  • Expresses judgments in respectful and compassionate language.

  • Refers to established principles of good design, not to personal taste.

  • Uses Socratic questions to identify problems without suggesting solutions.

  • Focuses on the work and doesn't criticize the person.

  • It is mindful of its purpose and the reason it has been requested.

  • Takes account of the other person's level and needs.

  • It is written in prose and addresses the other person conversationally.

  • Includes a thank you

Outcomes and Learning

Learning & Outcomes:

  • Learned Balsamiq Wireframes.

  • I learned how to use design patterns to build more efficient prototypes.

  • Learned Design Fennel.

  • I learned how to give and receive good and bad critiques.

  • Learned Documentation and Summarization.

Challenges:

If the time would have permitted I would have added a few more things to the entire project, such as 

  • A section that provides users tips to save energy through the application.

  • A section where companies could promote their products to the users.

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