We studied what is on the market, the functions of lamps such as Xiaomi and Philips Smart Hue. We found elements that worked for these lamps such as colorful mood lighting and adapted them to our lamp. We also found issues with these smart lamps that we wanted to solve. The Philips Hue celling lamp cast dark shadows in the corners of the room (stated by a reviewer on YouTube). We took this fault in this product and wanted to fix this issue using innovative design.
To ensure the smart light had good user experience and we conducted interviews. We got some customer research by interviewing 15 people and we asked questions such as; current living situation, who they lived with, lighting preferences and dislikes in their home.
This interviewing process provided us with valuable information and informed us about issues that people have with lighting in their homes. We found that people had issues with too many dark areas and insufficient lighting. In general, interviewees wanted more control over the lighting but with a simple and functional controls. Controlling the lights with an app was favoured and the ability to dim the lights was also desired. Most interviewees did not like bright white lights or when lighting is too dark.
Target Market and Personas
We used this information from the interviews to create our target market group, which is 25-55. This was decided based on interviewee’s interests in learning new technology and smart home equipment. We created four different personas within this target market to illustrate the different needs our customers will have. This allowed us to visualize our customers in real terms and to ensure the smart lamp was maintaining good usability standards for our target market.
Scenarios were created for the personas, these showed how each persona would use the smart light. This process allowed team members to visualise future customers using the product and the circumstances they would be in. This also helped iron out any usability issues that might arise with the user interface of the controls of the smart light.
It was decided that an app and a remote control would be used to control the lights. This is to give more advanced users like (Tom & Rebecka persona) more options and control over their lighting, but also to give users who are not so technical a familiar option using a manual remote. The manual remote is also used in case a user cannot find their phone and want to operate the lighting panel.
Check out the animation below to see how the personas Syliva and Rebeka use Lämp.
We decided from the beginning that all advanced functionality would be added through IFTTT (IF This Then That). This would free up resources for the development team to really focus on the core functionality of the product, and still let advanced users tweak the light panel to their own liking.
Our absolute first iteration of the UI was supposed to be the same for the physical hardware panel (light switch) that would replace the normal light switch, as with the mobile app. Obviously, the app would be touch while the wall mounted hardware panel light switch would be mechanical switches in regular tactile buttons. But they would share the same appearance.