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UX and the Internet of Things: How Bridging the Gap Between Consumer and Product Will Enhance IoT Adoption

With the emergence of IoT comes the promise of smart, interconnected devices that can not only collect but intelligently act upon, data from the real world.Many of today’s business tycoons have invested large sums of money within the promising IoT market, which is expected to comprise as many as 25 billion devices by 2020. While its potential as a transformative technology is staggering, 87% of consumers don’t know what the IoT is, especially those who do don’t yet see its value.
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The lack of both consumer awareness and value perception could be one of the most significant barriers to the mass adoption of the IoT. Here, we will explain how a robust UX design can succor this technology’s aptitude and address the issue of consumer hesitancy surrounding IoT implementation.
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Where IoT and UX Collide
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From workouts and commutes to traveling and home security, as IoT devices emerge as an everyday consumer commonplace, user experience (UX) is becoming increasingly important. To be well-positioned and majorly adopted, IoT experiences must be user-friendly, provide a valuable, clear-cut benefit, and not negatively interfere with day-to-day routines. This is a tall order that requires today’s designers to apply best practices and create technology that bridges the gap between seamless interactions and true usefulness.
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What’s Holding IoT Back?
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Despite promises of a better, more simplified life, IoT, as a concept, is not positioned to achieve mainstream adoption in the near future. A few factors that might play into this.
First, it seems that consumers either aren’t aware of the IoT or aren’t aware of the benefits it provides. Even though most consumers own IoT devices – smartphones, smart TVs, or cars – the IoT often remains invisible to them. Conscious consumer desires have not yet aligned with what the IoT can offer.
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Moreover, consumers don’t quite trust IoT devices yet. In 2016, Dyn customers experienced one of the largest DDoS attacks in history, which was further intensified by the use of compromised IoT devices. Unsurprisingly, events like this cause consumers to distrust IoT. The lack of cybersecurity processes in IoT was clear, and it’s hard to come back from such colossal mistakes.
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Of course, there’s also the fact of consumers having a difficult time using (or even setting up) their devices. Why adopt a new, complicated system when it’s easier just to do things the way you always have? In the words of Sven Newman, “Behavioral change is hard. People have a very low tolerance for the inconvenience of learning something new or doing something differently. That’s why user experience is so vital for IoT products.”

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How Leveraging UX Can Benefit IoT Adoption

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IoT creators need to make their products with consumers in mind. There are a few things that devices need to do to incorporate UX and enhance IoT adoption worldwide.
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  • Enhance the quality of life. IoT devices shouldn’t be an add-on to people’s lives; they should make people’s lives better. From wearables and home appliances to vehicles, the internet of things should be leveraged to enhance human experiences in an enjoyable, stress-free manner.
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  • Deliver value and privacy. As mentioned before, lots of consumers are skeptical regarding the privacy of IoT products. There are lots of stories floating around the media with respect to security breaches, data leaks, and compromised devices. People need to feel comfortable with their devices. IoT should be seen as a valuable, safe addition to their lives, something that they can trust.
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  • Promote engagement. IoT products should be engaging to use. Users want meaningful interactions and consistent usability from their devices. If it isn’t engaging, it’s not going to be interesting. Companies need to deliver merchandise that is both easy and engaging to use, as a way to ensure that their consumers will be content when they use it.
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  • Have a specific purpose. Companies should know their target audience. What is it that the users want their devices to do? They need to be able to achieve a specific goal, and they need to achieve it exceptionally well. Consumers can quickly lose patience with convoluted, indirect devices that can only bring minor benefits to a lot of different things. Devices must have a specific purpose; capable of enhancing one component in alignment with a single consumer desire or experience.
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Careful user research, a commitment to user-centric design from the earliest product planning stages, consistent and highly-visible delivery of value to users, and maintaining a keen awareness of the overall contexts within which these devices operate are all critical ways UX can help the Internet of Things evolve from an engineering curiosity to a foundational technology that can improve lives across the globe.
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Luckily, companies in the IoT business have help. SafeNet is a resource which can help with IoT application development. SafeNet experts are experienced in helping enterprises provide connected processes to consumers for improved operations and enhanced user experience. Let SafeNet help you develop IoT products that amplify UX in the way you’ve been searching for.


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