Connected home security monitors the security
status of family members’ personal devices,
home appliances (IOT) and Wi-Fi networks.
Lenovo powered by Coronet | UX/UI design team member
Online presence of home users and their reliance on internet services is on the rise. IOT technologies have been a game-changer in terms of increasing comfort, efficiency and accessibility for millions of households around the world. However, alongside the beneficial advancement of these technologies, the need to protect our privacy from potential online security threats has grown as well. Most of the solutions available on the market today for exposing and eliminating security vulnerabilities are offered to businesses, while home users remain without the protection they need and deserve.
Home devices and networks are exposed to attackers
Users do not have enough control over online security
Not enough solutions are available for home users
With great technological advancement, come technological security threats. Home devices and networks are particularly vulnerable to these threats and not enough solutions are being offered to users.
After researching existing home and network security solutions offered by competing products, we found that greater attention should to be given to the average person's experience. Cyber security technologies are complex, which may deter users from acquiring their much needed protection. Our mission is then to create a simple and friendly solution that is easily accessible for the home user.
Our main conclusion is that the users' experience should be as smooth and as intuitive as possible. Users should be able to access and understand the application and its features with ease. Moreover, the product we offer should be all-inclusive and able to monitor laptops, mobile devices, smart home appliances and Wi-Fi networks for security vulnerabilities.
Interviewing people, using competing security products, helped us to better understand users' needs and motivations. Their level of interest in the digital security of their homes and families varied from simple curiosity to deep concern.
They emphasized different personal security aspects that they felt required attention: the protection of personal data, monitoring smart devices' safety and geo-locating them, and receiving real-time alerts regarding any changes of status.
Interestingly, during our research we noticed a repeating pattern – in most households there is a single family member, the tech savvy one, which provided "IT services" for the entire family. Oftentimes, these individuals support more than their own household's technical needs. The app, therefore, needs to be designed with this individual in mind, but at the same time be approachable to other members of the household.
Unsafe devices and networks can introduce malware, lead to identity theft, and leak private and financial information. Our app is designed to reduce the risk of exposure to online attacks on personal and home devices and networks. Once Connected Home Security is activated it will ensure that devices are not compromised, that the networks users are connected to are safe and that other devices connected to the home network are safe.
A technologically oriented household with at least one tech savvy individual
To provide users with a sense
of security and control over their personal and home technologies
Easy configuration and monitoring of a personal and home online security interface
Following technological deliberations, we decided to construct the product based on two complimentary parts composed of a central web app and a local monitoring app for each device/operating system.
The central web app functions as an admin console, displaying all the relevant information and alerting the user-admin in case of a suspected security breach. At the same time, the safety status of household members' personal device, the Wi-Fi networks they are connected to and the connection status of IOT home devices are regularly scanned and monitored by the local, native apps.
Mapping user flow
We wanted users, both admin and other family members, to experience a smooth journey when adding new devices to the central monitoring system. In order to facilitate this we developed two separate user flows – one for the family admin and a different one for the family member. The family admin can add a device, then invite and instruct a family member to download the relevant monitoring app to their own personal device. Once the family member has downloaded the indicated native app the device is then added to the household's group of monitored devices.
When designing the product, we took into consideration the user's needs following conclusions from the user research. Furthermore, we incorporated the style guide of Lenovo's built-in vantage design. With this in mind, we sought to implement the following design principles:
Simplicity, modernity and neutrality.
Ability to comply with different brands, following only minor adjustments, as befitting a white-label product.
Striking the right balance between a sense of security and professionalism, and the need to convey friendliness and approachability.
Providing users with personalization options, which make the app more engaging and promote user commitment.
Representing physical and non-physical entities alike in a relatable way that corresponds with the user's mental model.
After some experimentation, we arrived at a simple, basic structure constructed from modular components. We were thus able to compose different variations to the same basic structure, which together accounted for all the entities we required. The design was based on an 8px grid, which contributes to an overall sense of balance and order.
Icon set design
We designed a set of icons to represent the different entities of the system. Each entity can be assigned a specific icon by the user, increasing the level of user engagement and making the app feel more personal. When grouping these entities together into more complex arrangements, we were able to achieve a design that felt both simple and easy to scan.
Onboarding with a wizard
In order to achieve our design goals of accessibility and ease-of-use, we decided to construct an onboarding wizard for first-time users. When family admins set up the central web system and add/configure devices and users, they can do so while engaging with a clear and friendly process. Moreover, each step of the way is explained in detail so making future use of the app easier and independent of the need for guided installations.
Native apps for family members
The same design rationale guided us when designing and developing local monitoring native apps for personal devices. Native apps are connected to the central web app and share the same graphic language, which emphasizes simplicity and accessibility.
Similar to the security features of the central web app, native apps are able to monitor device and network vulnerabilities, and the connection status of household IOT devices. To assure maximum security, all installed and active native apps automatically report data back to the central web app.