Initial Design of Termostat

User centered interface of a thermostat

To design an inruitive and user centered interface of a thermostat


Duration: 1 week


Methods: Persona, Design Sketch, Usability Evaluation

 


DESIGN & METHODOLOGY: Thermostat is actually an ON/OFF switch. A user sets a temperature at thermostat and thermostat actually starts heating or cooling the room till the marked temperature is reached. As soon as the marked temperature is reached, thermostat is switched off. The difference between the room temperature and the set temperature does not make thermostat heat or cool faster. It always heats or cools a room at a set speed. The marked temperature helps shut off the thermostat.

However, people feel that setting thermostat extremely below or above the needed temperrature will make thermostat heat or cool room faster. They feel that the needle of thermostat works as an acclerometer for thermostat. However, it just works as an ON/OFF switch when set temperature is achieved. We designed an interface which suggests user to set thermostat to a temperature that is actually desired.

EVALUATION: To evaluate our design, we made a low fidelity set up and asked 3 participants to help us out with the test. We used a white board, and presented the participants with different scenarios he/she may encounter with a thermostat. We acted as a computer and kept changing the different states of thermostat according to the response of our participants. The scenarios not only asked the participant to increase or descrease temperature of the room but also led him/her through a story where they were told that they have returned home from a long basketball practice session. These stories were presented to capture the real response of the participant so that we could better evaluate our interface of thermostat.

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