- Mobile applications
- April 2016
The function of light in our daily lives
A switch on your lamp is nice, but lighting manufacturer Philips knew that modern technology offers many more options. And so there’s Philips Hue: lights you can connect to your WiFi network, so you can use an app to switch them on, switch them off, dim them or even change their colour.
The product gained a lot of attention, but was only bought by true ‘tech geeks’. The average consumer failed (as yet) to see the added value in their daily use. “How do we make the app relevant to ‘the masses’?” was therefore the question Philips asked us. Well, by talking to these masses for starters.
Safety and white light as USPs
What role does lighting play in people’s daily life? This was the starting question of our user survey. As it turned out, consumers tend to see colour as a gadget and are mainly interested in:
- Operating your home’s lighting remotely, which reduces the risk of burglary;
- The atmospheres created by different shades of white lighting (relaxation, energy, focus, etc.).
This had a major impact on how the app was structured, as it had been designed to revolve around colour. While Philips’ design team was already in the process of designing the new app, we designed another prototype app and tested both on users as far as China (there’s no such thing as 9-to-5 for Jungle Minds researchers).
The insights gained were applied straight away to the new design sprints, and (after three rounds of testing) the outcome was an app that was fully tailored to user needs.
An app that changed focus from colours to rooms
…The switch from thinking about rooms as “scenes” and actually as “rooms” is a very welcome change and really shows how cool smart lighting becomes once you’ve decked up all your major rooms with Hue.
John Jones in a comment posted on Wired.com.
The new Philips Hue app is based around rooms and ‘scenes’ rather than colour. You can now easily switch all lighting in a room on or off (even when you’re not home), and using custom presets, create an entirely different atmosphere in your room with a single switch.
Philips’ design team experienced the value of user insights throughout the development process.
Merging apps: Jungle Mind’s prototype and Philips’ own app were made into one ‘super app’.
- App better meets the consumer’s ‘mental model’ of light.