The market for the Internet of Things is anticipated to rise 18% to 14.4 billion active connections in 2022, according to Gartner. This is both an opportunity and a challenge for an IoT app development company.
Website development keeps evolving to keep up with users’ ever-changing needs, and IoT has changed the game again. This new technology has made it possible for websites to be more interactive and user-friendly than ever before.
However, to understand the connection between IoT and websites, it is first essential to know what IoT is and is not.
What is IoT?
IoT is the idea that many devices and appliances are connected to the internet and able to share data. An IoT system consists of those devices that have been specifically designed to connect to the internet. We call these devices smart objects. An excellent example of IoT would be fitness trackers.
Fitness trackers can be worn to monitor a person’s physical activity. These devices use sensors to measure body movement and help track the number of steps taken, distance covered, and calories burnt. They can also be used by those diagnosed with chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
But at the primary level, a fitness tracker is just a smart device that collects user data as long as it is placed on the user’s wrists. It is only helpful if the collected data is available to the user insightfully and engagingly.
That’s where an IoT app development company steps in and turns the magic button on!
How does IoT work?
An IoT system connects smart objects via wireless networks. There are two types of wireless networks: cellular and Wi-Fi. Cellular networks use mobile phones to transmit data between intelligent objects. Wi-Fi networks use routers to transmit data between smart devices.
Who uses IoT?
IoT is used by many industries, including retail, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, utilities, government, and others. Retail is probably the largest user of IoT today.
How are IoT and websites related?
The purpose of a website is to provide information about something. Think of websites as digital books filled with information about a particular business, product, or service.
Let’s look at an example to understand why websites are essential for IoT.
Let’s say Company ABC is a well-known manufacturer of smartwatches. It has sold more than 1 million units of its most recent smartwatch, which provides customers with exceptional and high-quality health insights using data like heart rate, daily calorie burns, etc.
The user must easily access this data to capitalize on these insights. Therefore, web interfaces or websites are required to link smartphones and computers to these smart devices.
Tips for IoT website design and development process
Now that we know how vital websites or web apps are for IoT, let’s look at some great tips that you can use for designing and developing IoT web apps.
- Defining the purpose of your IoT website
Before you start designing or developing your IoT website, you must first define its purpose.
- What are the main features of your website?
- How should it look and feel?
- Will it be a portal for customers to view their data and control their devices?
- Is it going to be a place for customers to find support and troubleshoot issues?
- Or will it be a place for customers to buy IoT products and services?
Once you know its purpose, you can start designing it in a way that will best serve that purpose.
- Knowing your target audience
Knowing your target audience is essential for any website design and development process. But when it comes to IoT websites, it’s even more critical.
Why? Because IoT websites are all about delivering a seamless customer experience. You need to ensure that the site is easy to navigate, that the colors and fonts are easy on the eyes, and that the checkout process is smooth and streamlined.
And you can only achieve all this by knowing your target audience. So take the time to do some market research and figure out who your ideal customer is. Once you know that, you can start tailoring your website design and development process to meet their needs.
- Creating user personas
When designing or developing a website for the IoT, it’s important to create user personas. These are fictional, generalized representations of your target audience. By creating user personas, you can better understand the needs and wants of your audience.
Your user personas should be based on accurate data, such as customer surveys and feedback. You can also use demographic data to help you create your personas.
Once your user personas are created, you can design your website around their needs. This will help to ensure that your website is effective and provides a good user experience.
- Conducting user research
One of the most critical steps in the website design process is conducting user research. This will help you gather information about your target audience and their needs.
You can gather this information in several ways, such as through interviews, focus groups, surveys, and online polls. You’ll want to ask your audience a variety of questions, such as:
- What are their biggest concerns regarding the Internet of Things?
- What are they looking for in an IoT website?
- What features are most important to them?
- How easy is it for them to find what they’re looking for on the website?
- Are there any areas where they feel the website could be improved?
- Creating a sitemap and wireframes
Now that you understand the end user and your goals, it’s time to start designing your website. The first step is to create a sitemap and wireframes.
A sitemap is a map of your website. It shows the hierarchy of your pages and how they’re connected. This is a great way to get a clear picture of your website’s structure before you start coding.
Wireframes are like blueprints for your website. They help you figure out the layout and design of each page. This will give you a better idea of how your website will look and help you avoid surprises down the road.
- Create a style guide for your website’s design
A style guide is a document that provides guidelines for the visual design of your website. It will tell you what fonts, colors, and other design elements to use. This can help you with consistency in the design of your website.
A style guide is handy if you are working with a team of designers or collaborating with a client on a project. It will help ensure everyone has the same vision for how the site should look and feel.
- Coding your IoT website
You’ll need to focus on a few key things when developing your IoT website. First, your website needs to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. You’ll also want to ensure that it’s responsive and looks great on any device.
But most importantly, your website needs to be secure. With so much sensitive data flying around, you can’t afford to take any chances regarding your site’s security, especially when handling user data. That’s why partnering with an IoT web development company that knows how to create a secure website is essential. They can help you with every aspect of the website, including:
- Designing your website’s layout and navigation.
- Creating graphics and visuals for your website.
- Writing website copy with SEO titles and descriptions.
- Coding and Testing your website’s functionality and security.
- And finally, launching your website!
- Create a robust backend framework
A website has three parts, namely frontend, middleware, and backend. Frontend refers to the user interface people use to access the site; middleware refers to the software layer that sits between the client and server, and the backend refers to the servers that run behind the scenes.
The backend of an IoT website is where all the actual data is kept. Here, all data from IoT devices must be stored, processed, and retrieved in real-time.
However, as each IoT device has different rules for transmitting and receiving information, your backend needs to be flexible and in sync with the various IoT communication techniques.
Therefore, you must be aware of all the requirements in advance. This will help you create a robust backend architecture for all IoT devices.
- Integrate AI chatbots
Chatbots make IoT websites easier to use. Unlike traditional websites, chatbots don’t require users to register. Website visitors can get answers to all general queries from the bot itself. Further, it makes navigation seamless, enabling visitors to access information without searching. This means that users can obtain the information they need instantly.
- Have a maintenance plan
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into designing and developing your IoT website. But what if it falls apart after just a few months? That’s why it’s essential to test your website thoroughly and ensure everything works as it’s supposed to.
You should also invest in website maintenance. This means regularly updating your website with the latest security patches and software updates. Otherwise, you’re just asking for trouble. So don’t forget to test and maintain your IoT website!
Measuring the success of your IoT website
So, you’ve created a website for your IoT product. Congratulations! But now what? How do you know if it’s successful?
There are a few key things to measure to determine the success of your website.
- One is traffic, you want to ensure that people visit your site and find what they’re looking for.
- You should also track conversion rates; in other words, how many people are buying your product or signing up for your service?
- And don’t forget to measure engagement levels as well. Are people spending time on your website or leaving right away?
By tracking all of these metrics, you’ll know how well your website is performing and where you need to make improvements.
As we move toward the future, our lives become increasingly connected to the web. The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to connect over 50 billion things by 2025. However, the connection between people and their devices isn’t always seamless.
Smart devices need intelligent interfaces to connect users with IoT technology hassle-free. Hiring an IoT app development company can overcome challenges in dynamically utilizing data to gather insights and enhance the end-user experience.
Author bio- Julie Aplustill is a renowned content marketer from California, USA, associated with Closeloop Technologies – a trusted iOT software and app development company. She also loves to share her views on the latest digital technologies, web development trends, augmented reality and prefers diverse niches.