Internet of Things(IoT) and the UX Challenges

Saurabh Tiwary | 3rd February 2017

Things around us are getting smarter everyday. Sometimes, even smarter than we are. And while you think of it in a perspective, it is actually a bit disturbing rather than a fun. However, I have always loved the tech progress instead going against it and then, internet of things (IoT) is not an exception.

iot Ux Design

Hence, as a UX designer, you need to go through few of the challenges that Iot brings in terms of usability and examine if we can enhance them for the good experience of the users..

 

Connectivity Related Issues

Iot is nothing without a flawless network connection as the data is transferred between different devices without any human intervention. It does not really matter if the connection is wireless or wired. However, most of the IoT devices that are available today work on WiFi and need a lightening fast internet connection.

 

Internet of Things

Talking about the smartphones and computers, I am quite sure that most of us experience occasional connectivity issues such as poor connection during a video calling, website loading  etc. No matter how annoying it is, we all are used to those glitches.

 

The user experience of the devices that we use everyday is a bit different from the web. While turning off a light we expect immediate response, but what if your connection is very poor at the moment and it takes few seconds or minutes to respond. I think we are not yet ready for this.

And I can be sure about it that Connectivity issues are going to have a huge impact on the overall IoT experience.

 

Multiple Interface Challenges

One of the major problems is that there are a number of connected devices and individually, they are smart and very useful, however,  they do not seem to work as a team. You cannot control the entire collection of all your IoT devices at once and make them sync your data.

 

Usability Challenges

 

  • In theory IoT will undoubtedly enhance our lives dramatically. But not only will it fulfill your commands, but will even go beyond and think for us. We would be spending a bit less time on tasks that are monotonous and will require more time to be done.

 

  • Although is sounds good,, but practically, Internet of things is very young and like the earliest website designs, it might certainly lack usability at beginning. It will take some time for users to learn and memorize gestures, icons etc..

 

  • In terms usability, current day IoT might not be usable. Take for an instance the lights regulator. It hardly takes one action to turn the light bulb off  in a practical context, but with a “smart lighting”, you might need to perform several extra steps(such as swipe to unlock smartphone, opening the app, tapping the right icon) to turn off the lights. So, if you feel asleep on the couch, getting up to turn it off is definitely not the better option.

 

Takeaway

The best way to deal with the challenges of IoT is to think yourself from the user perspective and experience  IoT the way a typical user would. That way you will might discover the primary usability pain points that needs improvement. 

About Author

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Saurabh Tiwary


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