Lockitron First Time User Experience
Lockitron is a device which can lock and unlock deadbolt locks via remote control, typically a smartphone.

The good bits:

  • Batteries and even a screwdriver are included in the Lockitron hardware box to help ensure that the new owner can get the device up and running as quickly as possible. 
  • The Lockitron mobile app serves as a setup companion while the owner configures the locking device. The process is a setup wizard, but one that is broken apart into relevant chunks so that the user doesn’t have to waste time flipping through the printed manual (even though a manual is included for additional levels of detail).  The wizard content is composed of video clips that auto-play as different conditions are met (such as successful connection to wifi or answering a question about lock orientation). The video also helps set the user’s expectations about what will happen next.
  • The mobile app gives the new user an opportunity to take a photo of his door lock and send it to the Lockitron team to get information on compatibility and setup.
  • The phone app is also used to connect the Lockitron device to the user’s wifi network. The user enters his wifi information on his phone, and the information gets translated to the Lockitron via a series of screen flashes that are read by an optical sensor. This helps reduce potential errors as a new user tries to onboard a new device to his network.

To be improved:

  • Lockitron forces a new user to create an account or sign in before he can proceed with setting up his device. While this might be understandable given the privacy concerns with a door lock, it would still be interesting to explore deferring sign-in so that the first use experience can be focused on getting the device up and running.  The video content could be easily viewed, for example, without needing an account.
  • The video content should use some form of signposting to give the new user an idea of how many steps are involved, as well as more frequent pause points. There are some places where multiple steps are covered quickly, and it’s difficult to complete each on the physical device and view/hold the phone at the same time.
  • A few requirements were missing from the phone setup companion experience. For example, the video doesn’t cover how to position the lock’s C-plate to make it compatible with a particular lock. Although this information is available on Lockitron’s site, it is important to cover during the setup experience because it can have an adverse effect on the success of the remaining steps. While it’s fine to offload the mobile app, which is the product’s primary instruction method, of non-critical instructions, anything that is crucial to achieving the setup goal should be included.