Keep an eye on what matters

Abode

Abode is a smart home app focusing on making home security simple. With Abode you can keep an eye on what matters the most - get alerts on your phone for relevant events or view a timeline of daily home activity and control internet access for family and devices.

ROLE Concept, Visual and
Interaction Design
WHEN 5 Weeks, Spring 2017
CLIENT School Project
Process Deck →
A user using the Smart home App

RESEARCH

What do existing smart home applications offer and what issues do the users face while using the applications?

I began the research process by looking at existing smart home applications and the features they offer. Some user research was also done, based on product reviews, to understand what are some of the issues that users face while using such applications.


I aimed at creating a user-friendly smart home app experience with a focus on security.

POPULAR FEATURES

  • Automated Routines

    A way to automate everyday routines such as a good morning routine to have your lights turn on, with a particular temperature.

  • Guest Home Access

    Multiple accounts or guest keys to give access to your house to guests/housekeeping/dog walkers...

  • Real-time updates and notifications

    24/7 Video feed, updates and real time notifications.

  • One control for all smart devices

    Apps that act as a hub to manage all connected devices in one place.

ISSUES

  • Internet Security

    While most of these provide a good way to secure your home from physical intruders, they don’t focus on safeguarding your devices or smart home systems on the internet.

  • Intuitive Interface

    Users are more frustrated by the smart home apps that dictate and manage the smart devices than the actual devices themselves. There is need more intuitive controls for smart home systems.

SOLUTION

The challenge was to figure out how to create simple interface with obvious utility. The interactions with the app were to be inviting and intuitive, so that the user can control their home with ease. There was also need to introduce controls to manage internet access.


Abode divides all app interactions into two simple sections based on the flow of information - 'Timeline' and 'Control'. Timeline presents all the information that is going to be consumed by the user, and Control presents features that require information from the user.

App screens for Timeline and Control

Automatic Modes

Abode automatically changes the alarm mode when the user enters or leaves his home. User can also easily swipe through and select a mode manually.

Different modes offered by Abode Different modes offered by Abode
showing home screen

Always know what's happening

Keep an eye on your home through the live streams from anywhere. Simply swipe to access different cameras.

In an emergency, sound the alarm or call the police with the handy shortcuts right from the home screen.

Events Timeline

Everything the smart home system captures is recorded in the timeline chronologically. Events can be filtered out based on rooms, type of events or devices.

showing events timeline

There are three types of events which are color coded based on priority:

showing the control screen
Access to your home

Control Home Access

A user can grant access to friends, family and services. He can determine if an individual is a guest, the owner or a someone who only needs access at specific times on particular days.

Access Circle has three categories:
1. Owner like you or your spouse.
2. Guest like your friends and family.
3. Others like your housekeeper or dog walker

Control Internet Access

Abode gives you the ability to control internet access for users and select devices. Monitor and control all devices on network or control what your kids access, and set time limits.

Home page for control Internet access for users

Stay Informed

Get instant mobile alerts if someone enters or leaves your home or accesses your network.

Notification screen for intruder alerts Notification screen for internet access alerts

FINAL DESIGNS

Final designss for the app

HOW DID IT GO?

This project gave me creative freedom to explore possible feature sets and user interactions. I pushed myself to create a full process deck that can be presented to the client including userflow, sketches, design and motion-based prototypes.


If I were to work on this further I would want to create a short and efficient onboarding experience for new users - since the app offers so many features and complex funtionalities.

Take a deeper dive into how I got to the final solution from concept to prototype.

See the process