- Know the Technology. If you want to guide and inform the engineering you should understand the technology. Attend code reviews, ask questions, dig in with developer tools, participate in the design the API. You’ll gain the trust of the development team and get a realistic sense of the design problem. The team will be much more receptive to your UX magic if you make an effort to speak their language.
- Design for Latency. In the world of consumer ‘smart things’, connecting devices to the cloud or a wireless network can be a real buzzkill. Keep the delight flowing by making sure the user is aware of the system status during some of the more ambiguous moments. Show them that the system is working and/or what can be done to troubleshoot an issue.
- Make it Clear. A lot of the industrial applications out there are super complex. Since people use these to perform real world, life-or-death tasks, they can only be simplified so much. You can, however, reduce cognitive load by making things clearer. By unifying disparate elements and clarifying the necessary details, the experience will be less obtrusive and the product will make more sense.
Jason is a UX Engineer with Leviton where he leads design and research in the company’s smart home division. Follow him @jasongillard.