Programmable Thermostats User Experience Assessment

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We conducted a usability research to assess user attitudes and behaviors when setting programmable thermostats

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Programmable Thermostats User Experience Assessment

  1. 1. Programmable Thermostats User Experience Assessment<br />DhawalMujumdar | Daniel Perry | Becky Hurwitz<br />
  2. 2. Project Background<br />Problem <br />People cannot program their thermostats<br />Reason <br />People’s inability to properly program is due to poor usability of thermostats<br />Our team conducted usability research to assess user attitudes and behaviors when setting programmable thermostats<br />
  3. 3. Usability Research Methods<br /><ul><li>Qualitative Interviews
  4. 4. An Online National Survey
  5. 5. Usability Tests</li></li></ul><li>Qualitative Interviews<br />Performed 6 semi-structured qualitative interviews to establish a context for how social and environmental conditions affected usage behavior<br />
  6. 6. Qualitative Interviews<br />I don’t touch it because I don’t understand it<br />
  7. 7. Qualitative Interviews<br />I don’t touch it because I don’t understand it<br />Well I actually turn it off and then turn it back on again; but that’s it<br />
  8. 8. Qualitative Interviews<br />Interviews were recorded and pertinent quotes and observations were organized into an affinity diagram<br />
  9. 9. Survey<br />We prepared a fifteen-question survey, which covered a range of questions to determine behavior ranging from “who purchased the thermostat” to temperature settings for heating and cooling<br />
  10. 10. Survey<br />81 respondents from 10 states and 57cities participated in a national survey<br />
  11. 11. Usability Tests<br />Usability tests were conducted on two different interfaces with six different users. The two thermostats were selected to take into account both button based and touchscreen interfaces<br />
  12. 12. Usability Tests<br />The thermostats were placed on a wooden plank on nails at approximately 4.5 feet from the floor. The thermostats were taken to users’ homes and set up next to their existing thermostat to accurately replicate the use conditions of their actual thermostat, including lighting and accessibility<br />
  13. 13. Usability Tests<br />Asked each participant to perform a set of four tasks on each of the thermostats<br />
  14. 14. Usability Findings<br />Users cannot set thermostats efficiently<br />Distinctions between heating and cooling are confusing<br />Thermostat labels are confusing<br />Users are confused by product ergonomics<br />
  15. 15. Recommendations<br />Too many buttons and modes are unnecessary<br />Provide relevant feedback for any action performed by users on thermostats<br />Create standards for labeling<br />If a thermostat has a cover, make it easy to remove<br />Provide clearly legible instructions/ tips on the thermostat<br />
  16. 16. Thank You!<br />DhawalMujumdar | dhawal@ischool.berkeley.edu<br />Daniel Perry | dperry@ischool.berkeley.edu<br />Becky Hurwitz | becky@ischool.berkeley.edu<br />

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