Redesigned feature of iSmartAlarm mobile app
iSmartAlarm offers a self-monitored home security product that allows users to ensure the safety of their loved ones by providing awareness of the ongoings of their home. Unlike a traditional home security system such as ADT, iSmartAlarm directly alerts the user when a break-in is detected. Event logs and video recordings are accessed through a mobile app.
Monitor is one of the features in the app to keep user informed on what's going on in their home. In the original design, the monitor feature fails in several aspects on delivering our value proposition. It is also the least engaging feature as we collected from our users. In 2016, we initiated this project to restructure the this feature.
Redesign the Monitor feature to provide an effortless and streamlined way to find out the when and how security events happened in user's home
Product Manager, Engineer, Customer Support
To begin, we walked through the current design and extracted reasons why this feature is less engaging.
The timeline is generated base on date, with the most recent info on the top. Each event represents a change of the system, which is displayed as modular “feeds” with one structure that indicates “what” happened, “when” did it happen, and by “whom” the system was triggered. If there is video recorded, users can view it directly from the timeline without switching to cameras.
Merged the activity of family member to this time line to give users an integrated understanding of their “home” including the devices and members.
Users can now easily switch days by swiping left and right. The calendar bar on the top eliminate the repetitiveness of date and year in the original design and keeps the design simple and clean.
When user wants to see past videos outside of the 30 recent clips, they can tap learn more to see the purchasing plan, which may drive the sale organically.
To better understand the opportunities, we wrote down the typical use case, walked ourselves through the critical user journey which fits most of our use cases:
As parents, users want to see if their kids arrive home
on time after school. They receive push notification when door is opened and then check their camera
to verify their kids get home safe.
Other Common Use Cases
As a host, users may have strangers like tenants/ baby sitter/ nanny at home when they are away. They want
to make sure their properties are safe by checking whether the drawer/closet is opened.
The system at the time can only detect members who carry remote tags arriving and leaving home. We are working on enabling geo-location feature to also track people’s location by phone.
When addressing this fact, how can we differentiate these two to eliminate confusion?
The company currently only stores the most recent 30 video clips for each home in the cloud. We are planning to promote some purchasing plans to encourage users to pay for more cloud storage to store more videos.
How do we inform them of purchasing the plans without bothering their daily uses?
I worked with one designer remotely on the problem identification. I was the only designer to come up with solutions and accomplish it from end to end.
How can I balance my time spent on this project and other projects to ensure the quality and efficiency when shipping the design?
Our users various from states to states. As a startup we haven't build up connection to bring users in house to test the new concept out.
In this case how can we validate our solution with both qualitative and quantitive data?
Bringing the opportunities and constraints, and to help user understand the sequential activities, we decide to organize events by “Time-line” since it’s more intuitive and commonly used in various applications. Each individual event can be broken down to essential information including Time, Triggers, and Result.
Picture/icon of the trigger
Mode icon/Alert icon)
The trigger e.g.
- Members that use phone
- Members that use a remote tag
- Keypad with the primary PIN
- Door sensors/ Motion sensors
- Security cameras
Time when it happened
hover to see the details
When uploaded, the video will show up below the event of camera’s motion detection. User can view the clip directly from the timeline
Finished the prototype by early August. Done first round of user test with our customer support team and sales team. 10 out of 10 can understand the structure.
We also interviewed 5 users with the prototype. 5 out of 5 found the information provided is helpful. 4 out of 5 likes the timeline because it's easy to understand and straightforward.
Customer Support is an efficient channel to understand users when they are not reachable in person. They received compliments and complains day by day so they they have a thorough understanding on users' pain point.
We come up with ideas based on understanding of user's behaviors. And we format ideas based on user's intuition cultivated by their daily experience. Relating them with their common sense is the key especially when addressing technical and sophisticated solutions.
We merged Family Member’s comes and goes with the events. For some user who have large quantity of members in their home, (i.e. Business owner and their employees) we may need to do more research and potentially provide a light-weighted filter for them to specifically monitor their employees.
Even though we put a placeholder to motivate users to purchase more video storage, this method needs to be tested with real users to ensure it isn't disruptive to normal users and can increase paid plan adoption.
The Monitor page is just one module as part of our holistic app redesign. We are redesigning other modules in parallel. Next we will test how the whole app works systematically and re-skin the UI with a new component system.
We want to study on more users to see how well the calendar feature performs. There may be chances they want to search an event happened on a specific day so we may provide search feature instead all the way swipes.