Lutron Smart Home App

for Your Smart
Home Lighting

Set the timer to your doorway light
so it turns off automatically in 10 mins with this
most requested feature on App Store


Lead UX Designer, 3 Months


Visual Designer, PM, Developers


Research, Figma, End-to-end Design

Lutron Electronics is a world leader in lighting control system

Lutron Electronics designs and manufactures more than 17,000 energy-saving lighting controls, automated window treatments, and total light management solutions for commercial and residential clients. Lutron Electronics products are sold in 100+ countries around the world.

For commercial, some larger clients include
New York Times Building, New York
Empire State Building, New York
Wimbledon Centre Court, UK
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Bank of China headquarters, Beijing
Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, etc.

For residential, Lutron systems are at apartments, palatial homes to hotels
White House, DC
15 Hudson Yards, New York
Windsor Castle, UK
Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore
Four Seasons, Saudi Arabia, to name just a few.

Goal Setting

Business vs UX

The request of adding a timer feature was based on comments on the App Store and I had hesitation


Worked with the business to align on the business goal and created the UX goal accordingly


We are clear on creating a timer feature, but aligned on the need to validate the request and evaluate its impact on the Lutron app structure

Business Goal

Raise the rating and eliminate the user requests of Lutron App on the App Store.

UX Goal

Create a meaningful timer feature that can both improve users' everyday life and adapt to future Lutron app refresh.

Preliminary Research

Timer and Beyond

To design a meaningful timer, we need insights for the feature itself and how users use it to interact with the home lighting


Conducted 6 1:1 interviews with UX researcher. Collaborated with data science team for app data


Overarching insights that guided the design of the feature and how to situate it in Lutron app.

Research Synthesis

Insights for Timer

Timer is of

perceived value

. Users might not use it often, but believe it should be "easy and basic" to have.

Timer is primarily used

for functional lighting

. Users use timers in lighting like nightstands, doorway, basement, etc.


to adjust the timer is preferred. How long the task takes changes frequently hence they want flexibility to timer.

Research Synthesis

Insights for Home Lighting

Users mentally separate lighting devices into

ambient and functional ary purpose

based on their primary purpose

Users decide whether to control lighting digitally or physically after calculating

how much effort is required

(location/current activity)

Users set up lighting automation and

control single device

to not "mess up" with the schedules.


Before Design

Brought the users to the team of PM and development and strategized the design for now and future.

Discussion 1

How important is the timer feature for Lutron App?

How prioritized the timer should be in the app

Contrary to its popularity (the most requested feature on the App Store), users don't need it as often but think it is basic. The team aligned that the timer doesn't need to be highly prioritized but needs to be be easily found when users need it.

Discussion 2

What is Lutron App’s place in users’ smart home lighting experience?

Users don't always control lighting with the app. Instead, users use the app to set up rules for home lighting.This triggered the discussion of "existential crisis" of the Lutron app.The team started to talk about a future app revamp. I also started to create a more fleshed out product strategy and include more business stakeholders in the discussion.


Actionable decisions?

The team has some alignments on the discussions. Doubled with the insights I gain from the preliminary research, I translated the alignments into the following actionable decisions.

Second Level

Locate the timer feature at the second level of the information architecture, so its not prioritized but still discoverable.

Set to Device

Have the timer tie to individual device instead of the scheduling system, so it will not complicate the future app refresh.

Design System

Make sure the element requirements are well documented as timer feature has granular time-setting elements that are new to the design system.


Final Experience

Look at the timer feature
from user POV

Feature 1

Set Up the Timer for a Device

Users go to the edit of the device and tap on the timer list item. After turning on the timer, users can put in the time and will see a short description informing them what will happen with this feature setup.

Why the radio button?

There are two layers for the timer feature: set the timer up and then turn the tuner on. In current Lutron Design System toggle means "turning on/off." Hence I introduced a radio button for "setting it up".

Is one line of instruction enough?

After 6 rounds of user testing, most users can immediately understand a timer and no user read the text. For those who didnt understand, they mentioned a simple instruction is informative enough too.

Feature 2

Quick, Temporary On/Off

For devices that have timer set up, a toggle to quickly turn the timer on/off will be shown on the remote control pop-over of the device.

Why do users need a temporary on/off when they can just turn the timer off?

Users want to have flexibility in controlling their timer. That means they do not want to "mess up" with their setting. The temporary on/off allows users to control the timer without worries.

Why have the toggle on the remote control pop-over?

The pop-up remote works as a digital remote for the devices. It is also the first place users will get to when controlling their lighting. Having the toggle here can grant users intuitive and quick control over the timer.

Feature 3

Notify Me Toggle

The toggle allows users to choose if they want the app to notify them before turning off the light. In the notification, users can dismiss the notice or repeat the timer.

Why notification?

Users get confused when the lights turn off themselves as users might forget the timer is on. With the notification, users can be informed.

Why not making notification a default?

Notifications prevent the timer from confusing users' spatial experience. However, the last thing we want is another digital exhaustion. Having it optional allows users to keep their balance.

Why not allow users to put in how long before they want to be notified?

Allowing users to put in a specific time requires more mental capacity that might deter them from using this small delighter.


Design Rationales

I worked with the business and
came up with 3 rationales to
evaluate the success of the feature

Quick Access

Users should be able to finish what they want quick and easy.

Clear Action

Users should feel confident about what are they doing.

Least Interruption

Users don't experience unwanted and shocking effects in their spatial experience.

Screen Flow Evaluation

Device Popover
(timer off)

Easy to discover

Intuitively know where is the timer feature

Device Setting


Explain the effect of timer feature

Notify Me

Choose to be notified when timer is triggered

Timer Setting

Temporarily on/off

Turn the timer off without messing up with the setting

Timer Toggle

Timer icon shown on the toggle

Fade Away

Lights fade instead of suddenly turn off

Device Popover
(timer on)

Link to Physical Control

Trigger timer both through app and physical switch

Timer Badge

Understand why the light is turned off

All Device
(timer on)


Future Work

What are some other impacts the
project posed to the product and the team?

Discussion of the app's mission

What's the next step for the Lutron app after raising the rating on the app store? From the research, we saw that current Lutron app structure focuses too much on daily lighting control, which isn't necessarily the users' priority. It led to a more extensive discussion of the app's mission and how it can blend with the business goals.

Improvement for Current Flow

I spotted some usability issues in the current flows from the research. The team will continue improving the Lutron app's flows, like tabbed design, add-device flow, multi-home system, etc.

Embedding UX in Product team

The project showed a successful collaboration between the developing, business, and UX teams. The management decided to experiment having a UX person embedded in one product team instead of what Lutron used to do, assigning project requirements to the UX team.

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