The products are secondary, but still critical
Sector Alarm’s business is focused on delivering the best safety service to their customers. The alarm products are utilitarian in this quest, but they play an important role in customer satisfaction and service credibility. The former product range consisted of off-the-shelf devices, that were not unique to Sector Alarm. This meant that there was a potential to increase the brand presence and user experience by developing new products. User feedback from installers and customers also showed that there were functional aspects that could be addressed as well.
Wide insight work revealed design opportunities
Through a tight collaboration with Sector Alarm’s technical development team, we gained insight into most aspects of the service; we not only studied the way that users experience the sales, installation, use and maintenance of the system, but also how all the internal departments interface with the products, from marketing to the technical back office. In this way we were able to gather a wide spectrum of observations and insights that were then translated into our concepts. Identifying users' aesthetical needs such as ‘unobtrusiveness’ were also results of this work.
Through brand analysis we found that this need matched well with Sector Alarm’s values of simplicity and carefreeness, which led to the development of a friendlier design language. As well as this, we established a close collaborative connection with the mechanical and electronic engineering team at Honeywell, the manufacturer of the system, ensuring that the concept proposals were in line with the capacities of their technical platform.
A cohesive product identity builds trust and value
The product identity that we designed combines relatively soft shapes with clearly defined details, mirroring Sector's approach to safety: personal, yet precise and reliable. This more cohesive product identity can be used to a larger extent in the marketing communication and potentially make the brand stronger. The simple, intuitive and attractive design also enables Sector to generate trust and interest in their products while on sales calls. Rather than simply selling security services, they are now able to show off their products and hopefully increase customer engagement.
Shapes, lights and sounds in concert for an intuitive user experience
We believe that the new system is also more intuitive and easy to operate. Through consistent use of shapes, lights and sounds, it should be clear to the user the system’s status, what control options one has and the feedback that is given. A good example is the semantic connection between the keypad and the tag. The indent at the lower part of the pad corresponds to the shape of the key tag indicating clearly the location of the wireless detection area. Many of the product design features aim at improving the installation experience for both customer and installer. Products are mounted in a similar manner, and with greater flexibility than before.
Design ownership can promote pride and enthusiasm
Sector Alarm is a company that owes much of its success to its strong culture and enthusiasm of its employees. Developing a design language that is entirely their own has been a strong supporting element to this culture. The thorough process ensured that every part of the company was onboard, and the result so far (products released in January 2019) is a growing interest and pride in the physical products created by Sector Alarm. This has also helped to create a belief that such pride can contribute to an increasing customer base.