Making Philips Hue accessible and relevant to a broad audience by redesigning the new HUE app.
A release of a new app in 4 months in close collaboration with the Philips HUE product development team reaching over 5 million users worldwide
When launching Philips HUE, the product was received as a cool gadget to color up your house. The lighting system and it’s complementary app therefore mainly reached the gadget freak. In order to reach a broader audience, the challenge was to unlock the range of possibilities of the HUE product. Also, the user experience of the initial app was quite complex, which formed a barrier to buy the product in the first place. The brief for Jungle Minds was to come up with a new concept for the HUE app that:
‘What is the role of light in your daily life?’ was the main question in the worldwide research we started with. The research (conducted in China, Germany, the US and the Netherlands) confirmed that color picking is indeed a nice gadget, but that a broader audience is more interested in light from a health perspective. For example the wake-up function and white light when reading in bed before getting a good night sleep. Also, in the US the safety function of the app was seen as very relevant, such as controlling HUE when you are not at home. And last but not least, the research showed that the mental model of a consumer regarding house lighting is structured around rooms. This was quite relevant because the app was initially structured around color picking.
With these insights, we started the design process by developing prototypes which were validated internationally in multiple test rounds. This resulted in a final design of the HUE app, adapted to the user needs.
The switch from thinking about rooms as "scenes" and actually as "rooms" is a very welcome change and really shows how cool smart lighting becomes once you've decked out all your major rooms with Hue ”
- John Jones
We worked in close collaboration with the Philips HUE team. The app development team already started building the fundament of the app to meet the very strict deadline. They needed to get the new release in the app stores in order to tap into Apple Homekit Smart housing system. During the project, we continuously fed the team input to retain momentum.
Both the Philips and Jungle Minds design teams made versions of prototypes for the app. Repeatedly pushing each other to design a better version. Using prototype testing methods, the Philips Hue design team experienced the value of user testing within the product development cycle for the first time.
After the new release of the app and the addition of products in the HUE assortment, sales took off. Currently, HUE is one of the most successful product ranges within the Philips lighting family, selling over 10 million HUE smart lights worldwide.
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