IoT App Development Elevates Smart Home Water Management
A global water treatment company providing products to consumers and dealers faced the pivotal challenge of expanding their IoT platform before the rollout of new smart water devices.
We developed mobile apps for iOS and Android—one for end-user consumers and the other for installers and service techs, making it easier for dealers to install smart water systems and a better user experience by adding features and refreshing the design.
What We Did
Our client offers products for residential and commercial customers, and products are sold, installed, and maintained through a dealer network. Any solutions needed to serve both end customers and dealers well. They aimed to elevate their existing consumer app, which had outdated brand elements and a clunky user interface, and build an all-new app specifically for dealer technicians.
They needed both versions of the mobile apps to function on iOS and Android, provide more analytics on app performance, and improve the user experience from the existing consumer app. End customers wanted to manage their devices using mobile phones, and dealers wanted to use mobile phones to configure products during installation.
Our client sought an experienced IoT app development partner to ensure the new solution would support both major mobile phone platforms (iPhone and Android). Finally, hardware connectivity enhancements were top of mind with the launch of the new smart water product platforms since the apps rely on connected hardware.
As their partner for IoT app development, SEP collaborated with our client to focus on the most critical features, enabling us to deliver business value sooner.
Guiding Product Strategy & Innovation
We began by conducting a comprehensive product discovery to strategically prioritize application features and functions. By engaging with stakeholders, conducting user research, and using collaborative design methods like wireframing and journey mapping, we designed every step of the user experience. These strategic methods were crucial in revealing and challenging assumptions about user interactions within the applications and prioritizing the needs of installers, technicians, and end-users.
Crafting a Consumer-facing App
Building upon the existing consumer app, we revamped the interface, improved brand elements, and refined the product experience. We carefully considered legacy code and future maintenance, using a mix of Objective-C, Swift, Java, and Kotlin to ensure compatibility and meet stringent deadlines.
Our product designers created new branded mascots as part of the ‘delight’ process. The mascots showed users how much water they used in the app dashboard and encouraged them to set drinking water goals and home water budgets. These fun, creative elements transformed the intricate task of displaying data in actionable ways into an enjoyable, user-friendly experience.
Enhancing Installation App Capabilities
We built the dealer app in Xamarin.Forms, making it easy to maintain and add new features for both Android and iOS with one codebase. Plus, through user interviews and journey mapping, we designed a straightforward UI for configuring products through a Bluetooth connection.
Before our IoT app development engagement, installers took several minutes navigating through installation options in a series of taps on a four-button LCD interface. The new functionality enabled installers to configure customer devices and read diagnostic data more efficiently. The dealer app featured configuration presets for quickly configuring common settings. Afterward, installers were able to configure devices much more quickly and accurately.
Utilizing Dual-Track Agile
Throughout the project, we ran a dual-track agile approach, with tech setup and initial development work kicking off simultaneously with product discovery and design. This dual approach allowed design and development to proceed on different project elements simultaneously, significantly enhancing efficiency. It proved to be a key enabler of success, particularly given the project’s tight timeline for the product rollout.
This IoT app development collaboration delivered exceptional outcomes. The client successfully launched the revamped applications with their IoT product suite rollout. The consumer app enabled users of their products to monitor, manage, and optimize their water systems, while the dealer app streamlined installation and diagnostics for their dealers.
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