Making Smart Locks Easy to Use
Verroo is a Bluetooth smart lock, it allows users to only gain access to the lock inside Bluetooth range of the device, decreasing its vulnerability to attack vs wi-fi based smart locks. Verroo comes from a background of one of Australia’s largest and well-respected lock manufactures. The combined industry knowledge and innovative approach to an immersive company that laid the path for Verroo's inception.
- Designing within physical product guidelines
- Developing functional user interface
- Creating an immersive interactive user experience
- Creating a Design System for future growth
- Communicating complex information in simple language
Designing within physical product guidelines
One of the tricky things about projects like this is the physical hardware aspect. As UX designers we may see opportunities to improve a user flow but in some case like this product we can be limited by the products own user flow which in almost all times has been done for a specific reason.
The challenge, in this case, was to ensure that we had a solid base of understanding how the product works before we could communicate and improve the usability of the product. We did this by first understanding the products current architecture, and how to complete all of the current product features like adding a new lock, adding a user to the lock, opening a door etc. Once we had experienced this it was time to document it. This is a valuable part of the process as it allows us to collaborate with the product owner and align and ensure that we have fully understood the product.
Developing functional user interface
Verroo’s product needed to feel secure, friendly and something. Our focus was on creating a UI style that really helps to compliment the product rather than stand in the way, we constantly revised screens and removed elements that could be a distraction. Even in some of the lock set up screens we found that users responded better to clearer instructions over a graphic depicting an action for example 'setting up access period'.
Creating an immersive interactive user experience
One of the main areas of focus was the screens relating to unlocking a lock, as we mentioned before one of the key features of this product was to be able to interact with the lock as efficiently as possible, the main lock screen will show you a list of locks, in some use cases a user may have up to 12 locks so the lock closest to you appears at the top of the list in an 'in range state'.
Communicating complex information in simple language
With applications like Verroo, every word counts. We may not be looking at a huge word count, but the short descriptives sentences and the word choices for buttons and menus are pivotal in the user experience. As well as serving this functional purpose, the copy also speaks the language and tone of your brand. For Verroo, we used a direct and reliable tone, testing the functional copy with a small group of users before a round of revisions to make sure the words truly connected with the designs.
Creating a Design System for future growth
With Verroo, there are three main environments/goals to an owner of a Verroo Smart Lock. Those are Unlocking/Locking your lock, choosing your lock from a lock list, (cases where you may have more than one smart lock), thirdly who has access to my lock, so account management.
With these three main areas in mind we wanted to create a UI environment that felt unique for each but at the same time connected. We did this by designing the lock list and user list to have a bold top bar that was uniquely different by colour, the red being for the lock list and the blue being for user management. The use of red through Verroo's brand was brought forward to represent the locks state, red signifying locked, green unlocked. This is why it made sense to use this colour in the lock list screen. it carries across perfectly one a lock has been selected and the subsequent lock control screen has a full red background signifying it's 'locked' state.