A Case Study in Improving the Usability of Lighting Color Controls:
What we learned from user testing and how we improved the product before launch-date.

New Feature Addition for Lighting Color Controls:
• Add Color Controls to Smart Home Lighting Ecosystem to support color and temperature bulbs.
• Bring it to market before our professional channel release in Sept 2022.

• Beta feedback challenged usability to discover color controls under the bulb long-press.

User Testing:
• User testing validated trouble with discoverability by general users, a qualitative study, but enough to try to solve for better discoverabliity quickly.
• Multiple rounds of user testing led to a change in the core interaction, and icon updates to increase comprehension.

Results:
Updates to our Edit Interaction Pattern Update resulted in a more discoverable, intuitive experience for customers. 

Who Was Involved: 
A collaboration between beta testers, UX, User Testing, Product Managers, Driver, and Mobile Developers.
1- Where we began: User-testing validated friction. 
User Testing validated beta user feedback that Color Controls were not discoverable enough.  We ran a user test with the general population and validated that users were not successfully discovering their color controls behind the long press.
2- Adding an onboarding screen to the flow: if we introduce the long-press, will they succeed?
User Testing for Task-Completion and Comprehension:

Building on the ecosystem of our legacy OS and UI design patterns:
    • Bulb Single-Tap - to power a bulb on/off
    • Bulb Long-Press - Open color controls
    • Long-Press to Edit or Access Advanced Features 

Iteration:
    • Add an Onboarding Screen to introduce the gesture of the long-press to access color controls. 
       "If we teach them about the long-press, will they succeed in completing the task of changing their color bulb?"
    • Tested wording alone, wording and icons that show gesture 

Results: 
     • All onboarding screen iterations were not successful enough to move forward.
     • Continue to iterate and test.
Sample pages from one of the reports from User Testing
3 - User Testing - Introducing a New Design Pattern to the UI

Due to poor test results in prior tests, we abandon the long-press gesture, and change the design pattern to access color controls from the Chevron > with greater discoverability and task success rate. 
Problem: 
Due to poor test results in prior tests adding onboarding communication, then testing wording vs. images of gestures, further iteration was needed. Test another design pattern in pursuit of a more successful discovery and task completion rate.
Objective 2:
Redesign the row component for a Light, and add a chevron to edit and access the color controls. No onboarding added.
Test for the Question
Adding a Chevron > to the end of a row, will a new user successfully complete the task of changing their color bulb?
Test Results:
• With minimal discovery (testing the bulb icon and the Chevron), within 2 clicks, there was a 100% successful discovery of accessing lighting controls. 
• Very encouraging update. 
Next Steps:
• Development spike to size an updated component.
• Edits through the UI need to be defined.
• Holistic updates are made to the UI to treat the Chevron (>) as a discoverable way to edit.​​​​​​​
Summary: Cost, Key Results, and a Positive Path Forward
Cost/timeline:
User testing took 5 weeks under $300 for unmoderated user tests with the general population.

Updates to Edit, using the Chevron are more discoverable and successful:
User testing and design iterations led to a better user experience for our end customers with better discoverability and usability, updated before the end of beta testing and release to our professional channel.
Additional Updates were also made thru this discovery, to improve the product:
• Icon updates - colorized bulbs to show the color state - a collaboration with the mobile development team and driver developers.
• Update to UI row component - moves Light Bulb to the left, and uses the Chevron for primary edits with successful user discovery and task completion with no onbaording. 
Next Steps:
After release, we expect engagement with color controls and continue to learn from customers.

Data will be reviewed in cadence to measure user engagement, to understand their real-world preference for how they use their color controls both in product discovery, and in using the product over time. Understanding how customers choose to customize their lighting UI in Phone, and Tablet interfaces will inform future iteration.