Jeff Heppert

Auto-Unlock

Auto-Unlock is one of our flagship features, and how the majority of our users unlock their doors when they return home. It is a technically complex feature, and works a bit differently than some users expect it to.

The misunderstanding of the feature, combined with some implementation quirks, contributed to a large amount of customer support tickets and negative app store ratings. We launched a project to completely overhaul the feature.

We would focus both on the technical implementation to make it perform better, as well as the interface with the user to make it smarter and easier to understand. The overhaul was performed on iOS first, as it is the vast majority of our user base, followed by Android a year later.

Symptoms:

Problems to address:

Impact of the redesign:

The team:

Previous Version

Previous design problems:

During setup of the feature, the swipe-navigated explainer screens did not do a great job of explaining how it worked. The graphics were too abstract, and users just skimmed by them. This caused many users to misunderstand how it works, and expect their doors to lock when it shouldn't. Or worse, unlock when they did not expect them to.

Visual Design

Designed for animation

I had planned for this setup to be animated, with each screen's graphic animating to the next. The development time did not allow for the animation to be implemented unfortunately. Here is an early proof of concept of the animation idea.

User feedback

Reporting problems

We implemented an easy way to give feedback right from the notification, which helped the team quickly address issues & edge cases.

Alpha testers

Early alpha users tested the feature as it was being developed, allowing for timely feedback. This feedback mechanism allowed our developer to incorporate real user feedback right away to improve the algorithm.

Knowledge base articles

As part of the customer support experience, I wrote the knowledge base articles on how the feature works. They are on our main knowledge base website, and linked to from within the Auto-Unlock settings for users needing more information.

Live article: How to use Auto-Unlock for iOS

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