In March 2018, users of Amazon Alexa-enabled devices experienced something that seemed straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. The devices started emitting strange, “witch-like” laughter, startling the users.  This unusual activity reportedly happened sometimes even without the device being woken up or, when it was asked to perform any random task.

We would like to believe that the users unanimously at that point must have thought, “The chances of getting murdered by my device are low, but never zero.”

Tongue-in-cheek humor apart, IoT (Internet of Things) technology never fails to surprise us.

Who would have thought of a time when we would witness the evolution of smart dental floss dispensers, Wi-Fi-enabled wine bottles, and interactive Barbies?


Connected Devices and Design

From a technology perspective, connected devices are all set to invade our homes, offices, and other spaces.

From a design perspective, the devices need to offer the best experience to the end-users via adaptive systems.

It’s a massive cultural shift, and as designers, the focus is to build user experiences around this change.

Before we delve deeper, let’s understand some basics.

What Is IoT Design?

A specialized design approach used to deliver experiences to users in the IoT ecosystems, IoT design is all about the logic flow and input of the data to how the results should be displayed to the users.

From getting the night lamps turned off at 9 pm, to monitoring a baby from afar with their favorite lullaby changing in the background (or even the soothing voice of parents).

Let’s also not forget that the design will also include other aspects with the IoT tools, cloud-based systems, and how it seamlessly integrates with a device for the best outcomes.

What is the importance of IoT design?

Although it ranks high in the popularity meter, IoT is a comparatively new field. The devices and design, all differ from case-to-case basis depending on the requirement of the project(s). The unchartered territory calls for out-of-box design thinking and approaches.

What are the challenges of UX design for IoT?

One of the main challenges of UX design for IoT mobile apps is directly linked to the creation of physical design of the IoT apps due to the presence of multiple devices and their functionalities. It is mandatory for designers to be familiar with the system to offer a seamless user experience.

Secondly, with IoT devices sharing vast amounts of data, designers need to inspect closely the interface compatibilities and how they collect data across functionalities and activities.

Third, it is vital for designers to create unique solutions for each of the specific IoT platforms, with no room for error whatsoever. At the same time, they need to ensure that the solutions have interfaces that can be changed without impacting the core functionality adversely.

That said, here are some tips for successfully creating UI UX design for IoT mobile apps:

6 Well-Guarded UI UX Design Tips for IoT Mobile Apps

  1. Research the target audience

IoT tilts more towards experiences and services for users rather than products. Hence, user experience and how they interact with the devices is of paramount importance. While UX design does take into consideration user personas, for IoT, it is indispensable.

Audience research will tell you about their learning curve, user journeys, and give a clear vision of their pain points to design and deliver solutions with high levels of accuracy.

  1. Context is the key

Not everyone has a clear idea of what IoT encompasses. And this includes people who are using the devices and software to operate them. To avoid generic misconceptions about IoT, designers need to go above and beyond, in helping the users integrate the systems in the users lives. One of the best ways to do this is by weaving in contextual experiences.

Tell them how a solution is designed to solve an age-old problem.

Show them the ropes of using the system to improve efficacies.

Make them aware of how technology is empowering their lives.

  1. Address their security needs

IoT blurs the line between the physical and the digital.

For designers, it also means an added responsibility – that of managing the security loopholes.

The reason is simple. In an IoT ecosystem, devices and users are connected and speak to each other. This leads to the creation of an enormous amount of data, especially confidential ones with people relying on devices for their routine tasks.

Designers should, therefore, make sure that data security is deployed across all touchpoints, communicating the same to the users.

  1. Seamless data management

With IoT systems generating humongous amounts of data per living second, it becomes difficult to store it. But then, you don’t even need to account for every single data and make provisions to store it.

UI UX design of IoT mobile apps should be directed at collecting and storing data that’s relevant to the system. This will help develop a faster system, and make it easier to deploy devices.

  1. Making the human connection

At the end of the day, designing IoT mobile apps is all about bridging the gap between man and machine. Designers should ensure that the end-solution should bring people together and connect them over a common goal.

In a smart workspace, people can be empowered to use printing devices in a more streamlined manner and get the information of how much paper they consumed on an average. This will align them with the company’s sustainability practices.

  1. Discover new possibilities

While UI UX design for IoT mobile apps is different from the regular UI UX design for mobile apps, designer still need to cover the basics. Remember, the foundations of UI UX principles will always seep into the IoT systems, as designers work on delivering solutions to meet the needs of the end-users.


IoT is rapidly evolving and is all set to play a key role in multiple businesses. With engaging UI and UX design, brands can look forward to inventive solutions and taste success by creating winning IoT mobile apps. Want to get started with exceptional UI UX design for your IoT apps? Connect with our team to explore the possibilities.

Are you looking for an experience-driven digital solution for your product or service?
Author Pepper Square
Over the last 20 years, we have helped 350+ leading companies maximize their outcomes with UI UX Design, UI Dev, Software Dev, and Analytics.

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