5 Important Elements of UI and UX for IoT Apps
To better understand the elements of UI (User Interaction) and UX (User Experience) with the respect to the IoT for apps, you have to understand a little bit about the Internet of Things and how it impacts the IT industry and the consumer.
The Internet of Things or IoT is a system that features synchronized computing devices, digital and mechanical machines, people, animals and objects – all which have the ability to transmit data over a network via human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction.
Therefore, a “thing” in the Internet of Things, may be an individual with a medical implant, an agricultural animal with a transponder or an auto that features built-in sensors. These sensors may be used to alert a driver, for instance, when an object or system needs maintenance. Any man-made or natural object, which can be designated an IP address and given the ability to transmit data over a network, can be included in the Internet of Things.
Four Developments that Have Affected IoT Use
Today IoT technology is pervasive as the result of a number of developments.
- First, sensor technology has come down in price – about 50% in the last decade. Sensors are used to connect things to the Internet.
- Second, bandwidth is cheaper too and IoT depends heavily on the available bandwidth space.
- Third, displays are smart and interactive, and the infrastructure is now made to accommodate wireless devices.
- Fourth, the vastly reduced price of micro-processors also makes IoT apps easier to implement.
In the IoT work stream, every person and every “thing” communicates. Sensors make it possible for things to converse to things, thereby making machines the users. Not only that, things are talking to services online, which means the apps are the users. Both services and things are communicating to people, who, of course, are the important end-users of any IoT-delivered info.
With that being said, you still don’t want users to be drowned out by TMUI, or too much useless information. Therefore, a clear understanding of UI and UX during the creation of IoT apps can make a major difference in the usability and usefulness of IoT devices. The following 5 elements of UI and UX for IoT apps must, in turn, be recognized.
#1 – Communications need to be seamless. In the workflow of IoT, every “thing” and every individual is talking. Also sensors and a variety of communication protocols cause things to talk to things. Smart and connected devices are communicating to online services, where the data can be gathered from several sources. In addition, both services and things are talking to users, which is the most important way info is delivered by IoT. A safe and fluid flow of data between communication-enabled devices and sensors is therefore instrumental to IoT success.
#2 – Keep it simple. Delivering the amount of IoT data crowding the web is critical for success as well. All in all, it is important to deliver context-sensitive and timely, worthwhile information. Finding a clever method for combining information from multiple sources and delivering it in an easy-to-absorb form is the key element to note for UI and UX designers. Therefore, interfaces should be designed that are both simple and intuitive.
#3 – High levels of privacy and security must be built into IoT Interfaces. Both cybersecurity and issues concerning privacy drive UI and UX. As a result, designers need to provide a high level of security that is easy to implement.
#4 – Data for IoT should be customized to the unique needs of a user. Designers for UI and UX need to find the “gems” that can be mined as value-added data from multiple sources of information. In other words, designers need to show why an IoT enabled device offers value to the user.
#5 – UI and UX should be in sync so they can drive a variety of opportunities for new business models. An example of this element in UI and UX design is its implementation in small pharmaceutical bottles. The bottles feature visual and sound alerts to remind patients to take their medicine. Notifications are further extended to caregivers, healthcare professionals and the patients themselves when the patient’s alerts are not received. This type of app also enables developers to create a new business model – one that centers around the collection of data associated with medication adherence.
As can be shown, UI and UX elements that are at work in IoT applications focus on ease of use and permit both humans and devices to employ data in practical and simplified ways.