The implications of IoT on crafting products that outperform their predecessors has been a great boon that has revolutionized the way that people look at the internet. And with a change in the making of such products comes the change of how the machines are tailored around the consumers, particularly for user experience.
Creating the perfect customer experience for IoT products has been both a challenge and a subset that has become more intriguing with time. With more tools and platforms at the disposal of companies, IoT products have been enjoying a rapid progression to the next best thing — automation and UI.
Why customer experience matters
The product is the sum of all the company’s work in creating something exceptional and useful. Now, thanks to some principles of ergonomics, or how people behave with products, it can be stated with certainty that not all consumers are proficient in running machines the same way.
The goal of any good customer experience is to ensure that when a consumer gets the products in his hand, he can use it with simplicity and ease. It is to make it a natural action/reaction with the customer, rather than forcing him into it.
It is also important to factor in that even when the consumer gets confused or overwhelmed with the product at hand, there’s always room to avoid mishaps and mistakes. Doing this will ensure the customer relates with the product and the brand. He will use it frequently and ultimately it will become a part of his lifestyle. For businesses, this will mean more trust, stickiness, barriers to entry for new products, opportunities to cross and upsell, and ultimately more revenues.
Creating a phenomenal customer experience for IoT products
There are numerous steps to making a superior IoT product:
- Making it smart. First, start by integrating smart components like sensors and microprocessors, along with the best data storage techniques tailor-made for the right operating systems. Always invest in devices that can handle multiple streams of data and can process them simultaneously.
- Clean design. Start bringing clean design standards to the setup. Start small but start strong. What this pertains to is the use of user experience (UX) functionality only if it complies with the core values of the product. Keep reasonable white space and avoid cluttered texts with a proper call to action.
- Automate and innovate. Bring in automated technology when the time feels right with IoT-enabled functionality that can detect a range of data such as facial features, motion tracks, air content, temperature and so on. One way to integrate such systems is by finding a correlation between them and the actual conditions. For example, a smart refrigerator that can learn the difference between the surrounding temperatures and the designated conditions can automate them quickly.
- Personalize, but factor in scale. All this can be done by personalizing the system to how the user would best consider operating the device. Personalization thus becomes an important step in keeping that link established. Since most users feel confident in touching rather than other interactions, having the machine respond differently based on the number of clicks is a smart way to infuse UX.
- Accommodate for immersive technology. Bringing in capabilities for augmented reality as well as virtual reality can further enhance the experience for users who may not be too tech-savvy or perhaps seem to be overwhelmed by smart technology.
- Make them feel comfortable. Sometimes it pays to think outside the box. Instead of sticking to the same buggy interfaces that are based on screens, expand to more advanced concepts such as systems that respond to gestures, sounds and movements from the users. The point here stresses getting users to feel comfortable with technologies that might otherwise be tough to grasp and use.
Platform the experience: Understanding the consumer
While smartphones and other applications may have a certain difficulty associated with them when it comes to remote access, using them as user experience management tools may prove to be too complex. The key should be to design for scenarios that enable automatic remote access as per the example that was discussed before getting smart systems.
The best possible thing to do would be to get an IoT platform that is properly centered toward what the end consumer is. Not all devices are designed for the average man to be precise, or even for humans for that fact (there are even smart devices that cater to pets, specifically).
This is again all possible if the system has a personalized and automated interface that’s simple to use and easier to adapt to, even when shifting from other architectures.
Some of the key takeaways should always be to look at product development from the perspective of the consumer and decide what could make things more convenient. But it again rests upon the idea of making actions too simple such that users forget commands and finding what’s comfortable for the average mind.
This is barely scratches the surface of what can be considered best practices for engaging customers for IoT products. Having some good data to work with is perhaps crucial to start with as it will allow you to gauge what makes consumers tick and how they would best use any device. The next step would involve bringing those data concepts to reality in the UI and UX part.
Always keep the customers at the center of the design and build around their needs. They are, after all, a company’s best asset.
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