Raising the bar for opening the door: Envisioning a better automatic garage door experience.
One of the few remaining frontiers of the “internet of things” is home automation. Currently, a number of impressive products are competing for a slice of the growing market. Once such contender is Chamberlain.
Boldly going where they've gone before.
In 2012, they introduced the MyQ Home Control and app that allowed the user to use their phone check the status of the door, open when approaching and close when leaving. While these efforts were successful in proving that there were still exciting new possibilites for the garage door industry, they often resulted in a troublesome user experience. If Chamberlain wanted to capitalize on the growing home automation market by getting their product into the Apple Store, they needed to significantly rethink their application’s design.
Their first attempt to get MyQ into the Apple Store was rejected because of a troublesome user experience, so they called us. We partnered with them to improve their existing user experience, while also considering how design may evolve over future iterations.
And we're off!
We worked quickly to build an understanding of their market space and gain as much industry knowledge as possible in a short timeframe. This meant early, efficient collaboration with Chamberlain’s internal team and their outside vendors was essential. While we weren’t able to bring our complete toolbox of user experience research methods and capabilities because of a short timeline, we rapidly iterated throughout our process.
This was a significant enough improvement for Apple and MyQ landed in the App Store in mid-2013.
In addition to benchmarking and performing a needs assessment, we also designed conceptual wireframes and extensively mapped out user flows of the user experience. Through a number of iterations and collaboration sessions with Chamberlain, we established a series of documents that map the complete user experience through a number of entry points and possible scenarios.
We also designed a “skin” over the application’s existing visual assets that greatly improved aesthetics without extensive reworking of the application.
Our team, along with the growing UX team within Chamberlain, had grander visions for the application. We were granted a one-week extension to reimagine what the app experience could be. Though this effort was still purely conceptual, we were still limited to what we understood of actual users, a variety of ideas were explored that pushed what the app could do in a variety of directions. Chamberlain was so pleased with the results of this exploration, the designs were used to champion what the next version of the MyQ app could be internally along with future iterations of other related apps.