Developing a Connected Home product? Here are four reasons you shouldn’t go it alone.
Is Connected Home product development keeping you up at night? Designing and building in this space presents a minefield of challenges, and general experience isn’t enough to get you through. You need a guide—someone who’s done it before and knows where the mines are hidden.
At Blue Rocket, we specialize in designing and engineering apps and experiences for the Connected Home. Here are the four reasons we give our clients for hiring out rather than building in-house.
Onboarding is critical. And it’s the hardest part to get right.
Your customer turns on their just purchased product. They download the app and fire it up. What happens next is the difference between success and failure. Your job is to walk someone through an unfamiliar experience and make it feel effortless and give them confidence. Each step depends on complex conditions. Whose home, router, and network are you trying to connect with? You will need to manage wait times and passwords seamlessly. Sleight-of-hand is your best friend. Can you divert their attention with valuable information, or get them to complete the next step, while your process runs invisibly in the background? Remember, unexplained or prolonged waiting will be interpreted as “something is wrong”.
If the app falls short, so does the product.
Let’s say onboarding is perfect. What about the rest of the app experience? Remember, in the mind of your user, there is no separation between the app and the connected product. (Besides, get the app experience right or your hardware engineers will never forgive you.) Do you have a strategy for introducing new or more advanced features? Maybe they bought a smart plug to control Christmas lights. But unless you show them they can also program their lights to make it seem like someone’s at home when they’re actually away on vacation, they won’t realize the full potential of their product.
Platforms and devices are constantly changing.
Every device and platform presents its own design and development challenges. iOS tends to be more standardized with fewer devices, screen sizes, and resolutions. Android tends to be more complicated, with more devices, screen sizes, resolutions, and operating systems, so you have to think more carefully about who specifically your product is for. Does your strategy take into consideration the income level and region of your target? How will that inform which devices and platforms you prioritize? In this dynamic space, what you knew six months ago is likely obsolete today. Partner with someone who knows what’s happening now.
You need an implementation strategy.
A Connected Home product is complex and can be built with different approaches. Things that a few months ago seemed impossible are now best practice. How much work will you be doing at the cloud versus at the edge? Is there someone on staff with expertise? If not, will you be making a hire? How long will that take? Do you have someone on staff to manage workflow? Do your engineers and designers have experience working together to solve problems in this space? If you aren’t sure, talk with someone who can guide you through it.
Blue Rocket is available. Contact us anytime. We’re here to help.
Blue Rocket is a mobile product development company based in San Francisco. Through strategy, design, and engineering, we help great companies build powerful digital experiences—the right way. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.