C BY GE SMART SWITCHES
The new C by GE Smart Switches are a family of hubless WiFi/BLE smart switches designed to Light the Way You Live.
Designed to be equal parts advanced, accessible and intuitive, this new family of smart switches serves the needs of the novice and expert alike, including those that just want to flip a switch. Whether you’re controlling traditional lighting or smart bulbs, the C by GE Smart Switches are always ready through touch, app, voice, or automation control.
Expertise leveraged: Industrial Design, User Experience Design, Ethnography
The Challenge: Working alongside the team at GE, our most important challenges in designing the C by GE Smart Switch line was making sure we created a universal design that was approachable, incorporated a consistent brand experience, and maintained simplicity.
The Outcome: Building on GE's sterling reputation in the lighting industry, along with the current success of the C by GE line, we helped GE Lighting envision the next big direction in their smart lighting portfolio. Not only do the C by GE Smart Switches expand their product ecosystem and push GE Lighting further into the smart home space, they help GE Lighting go toe-to-toe with the leaders in smart home tech. This line also fosters future relationships with other like-minded cutting-edge companies to continue to innovate in the smart lighting arena by bringing “industry firsts” to market.
OUR DESIGN PROCESS
understanding users needs, brand language, and usability
In-home ethnographic research enabled us to dig into the core of the users’ needs in the smart home category and leverage our key findings to ensure the end result aligned perfectly with those needs. This was important in understanding both which features would be important to the end user and how to execute on those features in the most engaging and seamless way possible.
We developed visual themes that where informed by the current C by GE brand, competitive and analogous product landscape, and usability. These visual themes created a foundation and framework for exploration.
Developing interaction flows and refining the physical design
Once we refined our physical design down to one approach, we ran through the interaction flow to prioritize features and test usability across a diverse user base to ensure the design was equal parts intuitive, universal, approachable, and simplistic. We also kept in mind price point, manufacturability, and overall part complexity to ensure the end product fit within both the cost targets and design intent.
CONTROL AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON
uNIVERSAL & ACCESSIBLE CONTROLS
The interface utilizes tactile buttons to eliminate any unwanted presses or ambiguity and provides tactile feedback when engaged. The clear button layout and hierarchy puts the most important features of the switch at your fingertips, while blending in with your home decor. The interface considers multiple contexts of use- whether it be the easily cleanable gloss finish for the kitchen environment, or the soft glowing built-in pathway light for the dark bedroom or hallway. The physical buttons are as large as possible, making it easy for both the young, old, experienced, or novice to engage with. The integrated pathway light ring helps you find your way to the switch at night and can be turned on or off via the app.
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René Polin | Founder & President