Smart Homes: Design & Development of an Application From a User Centered Perspective

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ergonomi och aerosolteknologi

Abstract: With the growing development and general interest of smart living, made possible through Internet-of-Things, a need for the exploration and studies of how smart homes can be made more accessible has been increasingly more evident. This master’s thesis examines how the interaction with smart home technology can be improved via high accessibility and usability, regardless of any end-users technical expertise. To do this, the thesis explores what kinds of expectations the users may have both on the design of such a system and what kind of functionality they value the most. To further the potential of this kind of design, the different ways of how information and functionality should be presented are also explored. This is done by first evaluating and performing usability testing on an existing system for controlling a smart home. The results of this evaluation are then discussed and analyzed in order to lay the basis of the coming design phase, an iterative design process, which is employed in order to develop both Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi versions of a prototype for controlling a smart home. This prototype is then evaluated and user-tested, to gain further data regarding how it compares to the original system and as a design alternative when interacting with smart homes. This resulted in a Hi-Fi prototype that shows improvements in accessibility and usability in comparison to the old system, and a general appreciation from the test participants regarding the design and features within the prototype.

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