Considering front door locks are used by a diverse range of users (young to old, tech savvy to tech hesitant, close family to airbnb guests), addressing the smart lock perception gap was crucial.
After speaking with users and studying traditional lock geometry we began to understand the proportions that signal reliability and safety. These proportions served as the foundation of our industrial design. We also began to understand that every single smart lock on the market broke these traditional proportions. And with good reason, smart locks require more components than traditional locks. Physical prototyping helped us create an engineering architecture that included smart lock components without breaking the proportions.
Simplisafe launched the smart lock in August 2018 with good sales and reviews. The SimpliSafe lock mimics the proportions and geometry of traditional locks, while also embracing a clean, restrained design language. It has been called “The smart lock Apple would have designed.”
Our research inspired us to focus on the main point of the interaction, the thumb-turn. It's diameter, thickness and material match user's mental model of a lock.
We used rough physical prototypes to arrange the internal components and allow us to maintain traditional lock proportions.