Sally: Your Smart Home Ally

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Industrial design engineering (MPDES), MSc
Dybeck, Simon
The amount of connected devices in our homes are increasing each year (Steward, 2022) but integration between systems are lacking; most interactions still done through apps. One big trend is the wish to reduce screen time (Barr, 2019) as smartphone use impedes mental well-being, especially for young girls (Abi-Jaoude et al., 2020). Additionally, each smartphone pickup to control the home can set off a chain reaction of phone use (MacKay, 2020). Also, statistics say that smart products are mainly bought and used by men (Zaman, 2021), leaving smart homes not designed for the needs of women (Strengers, 2015). To combat the current smart home situation where most of the interaction is based on apps, a tangible device was developed. Addressing gender-bias issues by developing for women, this project shaped a smart home interaction concept that is more appropriate for todays trends and developments - making the smart home experience better and more inclusive. Initially, insights were gathered through research on the smart home context, followed by surveys and user studies with women. Using the Vision in Design method (Hekkert et al., 2016), a vision was set to guide the project: Interacting with a smart home should be easy, quick, and delightful; just like the experience of actual smart products are. By evaluating common interfaces for controlling lights, audio, streaming, and comfort-related products like thermostats in the smart home, a novel interaction design was developed to allow for easy and quick control of heterogeneous connected devices. A digital interface was designed, prototyped, and tested with experts and users, achieving a System Usability Score of 78. The interface was then enhanced with physical buttons, a knob, and dynamic displays to provide a more tactile and delightful interaction experience than the common smartphone apps present today. Lastly, an Arduino prototype was built and tested with users, giving the concept a positive outlook for future development.
smart home, remote, device, tangible, tactile, interaction, interface, gender-bias, , inclusive, usability, distraction-free, concept development, user experience, UI, UX.
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