Legrand Taps User Research to Design More Intuitive Products

Legrand has been working to enhance the user experience for its dealers’ clients with new product advancements across its portfolio of products.
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Legrand has been working to enhance the user experience for its dealers’ clients with new product advancements across its portfolio of products. From intuitive designs to consistent programming, the company wants its installer network and their customers to receive an optimal experience. This initiative was visible most recently this past fall at CEDIA EXPO, where Middle Atlantic, NuVo, On-Q, and Vantage exhibited together for the second year in a row.

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Based on consumer feedback, the Vantage Equinox 41 offers a richer animated control system interface experience through a control environment featuring 12 pre-programmed widgets. Legrand has utilized ethnographic market research that delves into the mindset of its customers and lifestyles of the end-users to better understand the role that the interface component plays in creating the optimal user-to-product experience. From these findings, the company has implemented new screen flow techniques to help bridge the gap between customer expectations and what its products deliver.

According to Legrand’s director of industrial design and user experience, Philip Prestigomo, delivering an exceptional user experience begins with optimizing the assets available to dealers, who serve as a critical initial point of contact with the brand. Legrand’s efforts to streamline system design and programming for the dealer enables it to create consistent, standardized interfaces that still offer homeowners a personalized, custom system. These interfaces empower the customer with the confidence to interact with and navigate their way through the system with ease, which lessens the need for support calls and increases both customer satisfaction and profitability for the dealer.

In the process of continually refining solutions from Vantage, for instance, Legrand assembled a multidisciplinary team to meet and listen to homeowners that already lived with Vantage products. Representatives from the company’s design, marketing, and engineering departments would visit with end-users in their homes, where they use these products, with the goal of gaining a deep understanding of the aspirations they had their homes and how Vantage supports and enhances those experiences. Many times, however, what the user would say, and what they would actually do or expect to do, would be quite different.

“Conducting research about user demands and product functionality in context gave us the chance to go deeper with our customers and get to the root of the underling need,” Prestigomo explained. “By exercising this ethnographic method, we uncovered insights that allow us to meet our stated goals of elevating the user’s experience. The initial round of ethnography illustrated for us the customer’s journey and aspirations. From there, it was our mission to design solutions that fulfill those desired outcomes.”

The results? Researchers found that users wanted a simple-to-use system that would have the ability to expand with their needs over time and would also let the homeowner “play” with features with the confidence that the system wouldn’t end up “messed-up” if and when they did.

“We observed that the approaches homeowners use to navigate through the different functions are consistent and reinforced using similar mental models,” Prestigomo added. “This is clearly evident in the top layer of our interface, which is where the user can instantly get to 90 percent of the functionality they need. In this first layer, the homeowner can adjust temperature, set a scene, change a track or check a camera without having to go to another layer.”
—Jeremy J. Glowacki

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Philip PrestigomoApplying Research to the Equinox 41

As Legrand looks to develop better homeowner experiences, it is using demographic research to find solutions that can be integrated across all of its products in meaningful ways.

“We are firm in our belief that the best products come from having the most knowledge possible about our customers and their needs and behaviors,” stated Legrand’s director of industrial design and user experience, Philip Prestigomo.

One result of this research is the Vantage Equinox 41, which features a sleek and continuous glass LCD touchscreen, employing presence detection and light sensors to automatically wake-up to a desired personalized scenario, and adjusts to ambient light conditions. Equinox 41 users will enjoy a richer animated control system interface experience through a control environment featuring 12 pre-programmed widgets. Navigation requires just the swipe or tap of a finger.

“Our research findings illuminated the reality that the smartphone is not always the answer to every home control issue, as many homeowners didn’t want to carry their smartphones or pads around the house to access controls for their space,” Prestigomo said.

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