The Alexa app is basically an operating system. It has too many capabilities hidden in too many menus for anyone to find.
With our redesign we created a more simplified onbaording process that takes you through some features of that app that will make you keep using it
From our research we decided to focus on two user groups. One would be the new user who may have receive the Alexa as a gift and has more concerns with privacy, having never worked with a voice assistant before. The other, the power user is the person who did their research, wants the best smart home remote, to easily explore all the capabilities that Alexa has to offer. We concluded that most of the turmoil was with on-boarding and the navigation in the app.
We conducted four contextual interviews to observe the on-boarding process for new users. This was when I realized that maybe the on-boarding was the key. If the on-boarding process was easier and had a better introduction to the apps capabilities, people would come back to the app. As we tried to grab people we noticed there was a lot of hesitance on downloading the app to begin with. Privacy came up several times. Many people we spoke to were concerned about their privacy when having an Alexa. Many users refuse to own anything that can listen to you passively. We looked for the privacy settings in the app and found that they were buried, about nine clicks into the app. This was when we decided we needed to add privacy settings into the on-boarding process to make it more transparent so potential users could be more comfortable using the echo. We collected responses on what privacy settings are important to users
My main focus for this app was Smart Home integration, and organization. Smart home controls are by far one of the main functions of this app. However Amazon, unlike Google or Apple home, includes third party apps from any source. This makes it a little more difficult to configure things easily. As I could not change Amazons method of providing smart home capabilities, I decided it needed to be organized more efficiently. I changed the groups to rooms and made the size more compact, so you can see each smart device in each room at a glance. The glow around the room means something in there is on. The opacity tells you what is on and the different floors are denoted by color.
No one even realizes what the Alexa app is capable of. Most users only use the app to set up an Echo device and then never use it again.
I was one of the many users that went through the initial Echo setup, then never used the app again. At first glance, we knew it needed to be reorganized. I jotted down all of the features the app was showcasing on its main page and began to cross reference that with what I usually do via voice command. We wanted to figure out which features would be used on your phone, rather than voice, then center the app around those.
After reviewing the Alexa app, the next step was looking into their competition. Focussing on where are they coming out ahead and what are they doing right.
The current home page listed several skills Alexa could download to help you. However they were randomly generated and not clearly explained. My partner Phil was very intrigued by the skills and immediately looked into all of the different apps to help you use Alexa better. In my interviews I noticed very few people even knew what the skills were. The skills card is the very last card on the home page, causing you to scroll through 6 other cards before finding it. They are essentially apps for the Alexa. We felt this was another important piece of the puzzle to add to our on-boarding process.
Our final result was an on-boarding process with a walk-through on Privacy settings, Skills, and Smart home setup. We felt this was a better representation of how to use the app and a much better introduction to Alexa's capabilities.