Nothing undermines a brand like a poorly designed IoT experience. For users, there’s no separation between product and app. If the app experience falls short—particularly during setup—the product goes back to the retailer and you lose the sale. On the other hand, deliver a delightful connected product experience that offers something meaningful and valuable, and suddenly your new IoT product is the wind beneath your brand’s wings.
At Blue Rocket, we specialize in designing and engineering great apps and experiences for the Connected Home. Here are three proven methods for launching connected products—without destroying your brand in the process.
Consider your product’s ecosystem, because that’s where you’ll be judged.
You aren’t designing a smart TV app. You’re creating a home theater experience that may include smart lights and smart speakers. To succeed, think holistically. Step outside your product lane. What else could make your user’s life better? What about using HomeKit? What would it mean to your users if they had the ability to control their home theater experience from a central hub? Suddenly, you’re delivering much more than an app that controls the TV.
If your app is noticeably different from other expressions of your brand, it won’t feel right to your users. What kind of imagery do they see during setup? Does it feel like something that comes from you today and possibly in the future? How about opening animations? If you have more than one product, do they seem like they belong within the same family? If there’s an e-commerce component to your brand, does the app version of it feel connected to the web version? Be yourself—consistently—and your users will feel right at home.
At the same time, be open to change. If you design a moment that’s more beautiful, compelling, and satisfying to your users than anything else your brand has done to date, lean into it. You might find that your new, thoughtfully crafted IoT experience is actually a springboard to a better brand.
We are fast entering a post-screen, post-app world, where every connected device will be controlled with the simplest, most natural input there is: your voice. Don’t be the brand that suddenly feels out-of-date, just because you haven’t set up your product to work with Alexa or Google Home. Developing it yourself would be a bridge too far—but don’t worry, you just have to integrate it. Do that, and suddenly your product is right there on the cutting edge.
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Blue Rocket is a digital 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.