By Hanna Kangas
- 4 minute read
To help Sector Alarm strengthen its market position with enhanced digital experiences, DK&A set out to redefine the digital experience for smart home security systems. DK&A designed, developed and validated the mobile channel for the visionary Smart Alarm System that later won a Red Dot Design Award and iF Design Award.
Expanding Into Smart Home
Sector Alarm is one of Europe’s leading safety providers with a long history of supplying high-quality alarm systems for homeowners and businesses in the Nordics. The company has rightfully earned its status as a household brand and the trust of hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers.
With the acquisition through KKR, an American private equity company, Sector Alarm started to expand into new markets in southern Europe. Simultaneously, the company began renewing its well-established product portfolio.
With many new devices, sensors, and services comes a lot of added complexity in setup, management, and daily use. Sector Alarm was looking to design an all-new mobile platform with a vastly expanded scope compared to prior versions. Traditionally a hardware and service provider, the company looked for an experienced partner in digital product development to support this effort.
Enabling Smart Security
Sector Alarm entrusted DK&A with the execution of the concept design phase. From the get-go, they were convinced by the innovative and highly scalable solutions.
Through customer research and desk study, DK&A shaped the new concept and created a new design language. This formed a solid basis for the first digital touch-points.
The next step was DK&A’s well-established “Validation Sprint” process. The team designed and prototyped an app in close collaboration with the customer’s experts. They also put the app through the paces with real users twice over the course of two months.
This is how we contributed to the creation of SAS — The Smart Alarm System. The goal was to bring an all-new hardware lineup with many exciting updates and improvements. The solution marks the company’s expansion into the Smart Home territory.
Home security is simultaneously a deeply personal, emotional subject and as ‘matter-of-fact’ as it gets. Our team had to solve the challenge of presenting matters of life and death on a channel shaped by breezy entertainment and simple, one-touch interactions. For a company for whom reputation and trust are everything, mind you. It’s a tough line to walk, but I think we did alright.
The result convinced customers and internal stakeholders alike. These days the collaboration covers not only product design and user research but also mobile engineering for Android and iOS and UX copywriting.
Over the course of 12 months, the close collaboration between the Sector Alarm and DK&A teams accomplished three goals. Firstly, they delivered a very well-tested initial version of the new mobile app to the app stores. Secondly, they established design-centric collaboration processes with Sector Alarm’s product owners. And finally, they developed a comprehensive Design System.
In early 2022 Sector Alarm announced that they had won a Red Dot Design Award for their Smart Alarm System. The application was submitted jointly with DK&A and Sector Alarm’s hardware partner EGGS Design.
In spring 2023 the Smart Alarm system won the IF Design Award for user experience (UX) in the Product UX category. The user experience has been crafted to instill a sense of confidence and security.
The Smart Alarm System’s interactive components, consisting of a portable voice unit, keypad, mobile app, remote control and key tags, are designed to provide safety, security and convenience to its users. Its cohesive visual identity across physical and digital products mirror Sector Alarm's focus on creating peace of mind for the user. Both app and control panel are designed to provide crucial information at a glance. The physical products have a clean design to blend with the interior and are easy to mount.