Investigating Operation Challenges of IoT Systems to Improve the Usability through User Interface Design
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The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a rapidly expanding network in recent years and widely studied. However, many scholars focus on the technological features of the IoT network. Nevertheless, challenges still arise regarding usability and user experience (UX) of the systems in this network, especially in the consumer domain of IoT. The current study assessed those challenges by conducting a literature review. To confirm these challenges, a prestudy was conducted with ten participants that interacted with an IoT system. Results showed that the most important issues arise due to the lack of standardization amongst IoT systems, interoperability problems, the complexity of the systems, and the lack of feedback in them. Next, criteria for the design of user interfaces of IoT systems were proposed to overcome the IoT network-related challenges. These criteria were implemented in the IoT system that was used in the prestudy. To test the effect of these criteria, another study was conducted with ten participants that interacted with the system. The System Usability Scale (SUS) showed that the usability of the system had increased significantly. The AttrakDiff results demonstrated a non-significant increase of UX. Furthermore, the qualitative results of the interviews also suggested an increase in UX. The study thus offers new insights into designing user interfaces of IoT systems that are usable for consumers. Future work could replicate the study with a larger and more diverse sample size to generalize the results to a larger population. Furthermore, it would be interesting to investigate ways to standardize the development of IoT systems amongst companies developing IoT by making the suggested design criteria the norm.