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Giving consumers control of their home appliances

Energenie manufactures electronic devices that turn ordinary homes into smart homes. This means that appliances can be monitored and controlled remotely.

Energenie approached Pocketworks with an end-goal of creating a suite of mobile products that would give their customers complete control of their homes.

Designing to simplify a complex product range

There are 10 smart-home devices with unique capabilities


We talked to the experts at Energenie to gain an understanding of the nuances of each device, both from a technical perspective and a "user experience" perspective.

This involved working through product manuals, building a demo environment in our offices, and drafting information architecture diagrams to form a complete picture.

We could then explore a design concept that was technically capable, but also attractive and easy to use.

 

Works with Nest

Nest create a leading smart thermostat that is able to learn how people use heating in their homes, and then optimise energy usage without further intervention.

An opportunity to integrate with Nest meant that Energenies' product range could appeal to a wider audience.

Our design and technology teams applied modern mobile design principles to create a user experience that would combine the two products in way that people could understand.

 

Both Nest and Energenie have sophisticated products, and interacting with these can lead to many edge cases. When working with smart hardware, we exhaustively explore the different paths a user can take, including edge cases.

Micro interactions for user feedback

An easy way to avoid confusion is to tell a user what is happening when after they interact with the app in some way.

Even the simplest actions such as turning on a switch can benefit from visual feedback. Our solution for Energenie was to create a micro-interaction that communicates what is happening when you flick a switch.

  • User opens app and turns their iron on
  • The app indicates "please wait"
  • It then communicates with the cloud platform
  • The cloud platform sends the "on" command to their home hub
  • The hub relays the command to the smart socket connected to the Iron
  • The socket attempts to turn on
  • If successful, the socket confirms this to hub
  • The hub relays it back to cloud
  • Finally, the cloud communicates this back to app
  • User can see a "tick" confirming the action was successful

Accelerating development with prototypes

Like many IoT manufacturers, Energenie need to have their apps and cloud services designed and developed a long time before their products hit the shelves

We bring hardware prototypes into our offices and hook them up to computers so we can resolve issues quickly. This reduces development time and allows clients to focus on their own priorities.


The photo shows an Energenie smart socket connected to a diagnostics board.

Supporting growth

Energenie were aiming for high-growth when we started working together. We helped them at every step; from exhibiting at trade shows to giving product demos to potential partners.