How Josh.ai is Building Training for Smart Home Users
Our industry’s manufacturers are facing a challenge in educating customers on everything that is capable with their smart devices. According to Designers Today, 65% of users are concerned about lacking the knowledge to use their smart devices. This concern can be attributed to either outdated or inadequate training content that users have available to them. The disconnect not only affects how a client experiences their smart home, but also the confidence that professional installers have in selling and supporting their systems.
To deploy a valuable smart home experience, everyone involved in the process must be thoroughly educated on the system’s capabilities, control methods, and limitations. The key to answering any questions between manufacturers, installers, and end-users, is impactful educational material from start to finish.
Connected devices are constantly evolving. Software pushes, new integrations, and updating APIs make it challenging to keep educational content current. Companies try to address this issue with FAQ pages, virtual help assistants, and technical support teams. These channels may help address questions after they arise, but education beforehand is how to mitigate the number of challenges from the start.
In a perfect world, users are educated about the capabilities of their technology before a project starts to eliminate confusion. However, the reality is that everyone has busy lives and do not typically have the time for an in-depth smart home education course.
At Josh.ai, we are constantly thinking through how to solve training our clients and professional installers with pertinent and engaging content as our technology receives exciting new updates. We have found this to be a challenge due to the number of nuances and degrees of personalization involved with every Josh system. The exciting opportunity is that while complex, our rapid pace of change and continuous innovation shows our users that Josh is always optimizing their experience.
There are two categories of educational content that help familiarize users with their systems. There are system capabilities; these are the end functions that a system governs, such as turning on the lights, locking a door, or playing favorite music. Then there are control methods; these are the interfaces through which users interact with their system. With Josh, our three forms of control; voice, touch, and our mobile app present a range of options that offer limitless control possibilities.
Learning about what technology can do is the first step in a successful installation. With the understanding of what a system can do, installers and clients are able to set proper expectations.
However, the tricky part with creating training for Josh’s capabilities is that it is so powerful on its own with direct integrations and even more so when combined with another control solution like Crestron or Control4. Some systems have almost limitless potential, which means that countless capabilities, integrations, and in-depth automation sequences all need to be easily comprehensible. Then there are simpler systems that only require simple functionality like adjusting lights and other environmental devices.
Such a wide variety of system design complexities leads to a challenging situation when creating educational content that should be specific to a user’s ecosystem. Fortunately, with Josh, our system capabilities are engineered to perform similarly no matter what the underlying components or systems might be. Designing a uniform interface is one way that our team is working towards an intuitive smart home experience and approach for client training content.
The second smart home training category is educating users on how to control their systems. Traditional control systems are relatively straightforward, with many offering simple on/off or open/close functionality that is built into an application for customers to use. However, voice control is still being adopted and there is an additional learning curve for clients as they get comfortable talking to their Josh Nanos and Micros.
Creating educational content around how users can speak to their devices may seem like overkill since Josh is supposed to be “natural voice control” — Yet, our team has found that over their first few weeks, clients acclimate to talking to Josh while learning the diction, syntax, and tempo that work for them. Our goal is to shorten that learning curve as much as possible with documentation, quick videos, and example commands so our users can enjoy their smart home experience to the fullest as soon as their system is up and running.
Our current approach is to train and certify installers on a Josh system’s capabilities with the hope that they will then educate their clients on how their specific system works. However, we have found that we can do more to position our dealers and their clients for success with tailored content that is applicable to each audience.
With this approach in mind, our team is in the process of creating a new and more efficient technical certification for our dealers. We are also developing a feature-focused training video series that aims to help educate end-users and professionals on the capabilities of their systems, no matter the degree of complexity. While we work to improve our educational materials, we would love to hear how you would prefer to learn and what Josh.ai features excite you the most!
Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback!
This article was written by Max Fiore, a Josh.ai Business Development team member. Originally from Connecticut, Max graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder, Leeds School of Business with a degree in Business Administration emphasizing in Marketing.