An investigation into usability and exclusivity issues of digital programmable thermostats

@article{Combe2012AnII,
  title={An investigation into usability and exclusivity issues of digital programmable thermostats},
  author={Nicola Combe and David Harrison and Salmaan Craig and Mark S. Young},
  journal={Journal of Engineering Design},
  year={2012},
  volume={23},
  pages={401 - 417}
}
With nearly 60% of domestic energy consumption relating to space heating, the interaction between users and their heating controls is crucial in reducing consumption. Yet, many heating controls are complex and exclude people due to the demands placed upon their capabilities in terms of vision, reach, dexterity and thinking. This study explores the scale of and reasons for user exclusion in relation to digital programmable thermostats. The Exclusion Calculator was used to estimate the percentage… Expand

Topics from this paper

Residential thermostat usability: Comparing manual, programmable, and smart devices
TLDR
Examining the relationship between thermostat usability and interface characteristics in Ottawa, Canada, with a focus on devices currently installed in homes found smart thermostats to be significantly more useable than their programmable counterparts. Expand
Facilitating energy savings with programmable thermostats: evaluation and guidelines for the thermostat user interface
TLDR
An evaluation of a usability test of five residential programmable thermostats led to the development of a comprehensive set of specific guidelines for thermostat design including visibility of possible actions, consistency, standards, simple decision paths and clear hierarchy. Expand
A review and application of usability guidelines relating to domestic heating controls
Domestic buildings are currently responsible for nearly one-third of UK CO2 emissions and the majority of these emissions are due to the large heat energy consumption of UK homes. Building occupantsExpand
Designing Technology for Older People - The Role of Technical Self-confidence in Usability of an Inclusive Heating Control
TLDR
This study found that high technical self-confidence was inversely correlated to successful task performance and designers should aim to instil further confidence amongst older users and provide systems that both support and include older people. Expand
Enabling sustainable user interaction with domestic heating controls
The way we live greatly effects the carbon emissions of our homes; heating accounts for nearly 60% of domestic energy consumption in the UK. This consumption is directly influenced by occupantsExpand
Modelling the impact of user behaviour on heat energy consumption Author
Our behaviour in our homes can seriously affect the associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In the UK, space-heating accounts for nearly 60% of domestic energy consumption and 27% of total CO2Expand
Modelling the impact of user behaviour on heat energy consumption
Our behaviour in our homes can seriously affect the associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In the UK, space-heating accounts for nearly 60% of domestic energy consumption and 27% of total CO2Expand
Service controls interfaces in housing: usability and engagement tool development
TLDR
The development of a bespoke domestic usability tool over two iterations is presented, demonstrating new insights into the relationship between design and inhabitant engagement with controls, and the challenges for developing usability studies. Expand
Do Domestic Heating Controls Save Energy? A Review of the Evidence
TLDR
A systematic and critical international review of the evidence for the energy saving, cost effectiveness and usability of heating controls in domestic, low-pressure hot water heating systems in temperate climates finds no high quality evidence about the impact on energy demand of any of the heating controls studied. Expand
A comparison of methods currently used in inclusive design.
TLDR
A combination of methods should be used in inclusive design rather than relying on a single method, as each method identified different kinds of issues, all of which are important for inclusive design. Expand
...
1
2
3
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 33 REFERENCES
Assessing the number of users who are excluded by domestic heating controls
TLDR
Investigation of the influence of heating control design on the degree of ‘user exclusion’ found that 66% of users at a low-carbon housing development could not programme their controls as desired, and more detailed analysis of the cognitive demands placed upon the users is required. Expand
Developing a Method for Assessing Product Inclusivity
In order to develop more inclusive products and services, designers need a means of assessing the inclusivity of existing products and new concepts. Following previous research on the development ofExpand
Designing for the home: a comparative study of support aids for central heating systems.
TLDR
The study examined the influence of different types of enhanced system support on user performance during the management of a central heating system and revealed that status and predictive displays were valued most highly by users. Expand
Improving the usability and learnability of a home electric appliance with a long-term usability study
Recent home electric appliances have many new features and their user interfaces are renewed often. The new functions may allow users to do many new things, but some people may struggle with gettingExpand
Design and evaluation of smart home user interface: effects of age, tasks and intelligence level
TLDR
The results showed that different levels of intelligence of user interfaces facilitated user performance with different cognitive tasks, including for senior people, whose performance was not as clearly differentiated as that of younger people when using different smart home interfaces. Expand
Assessing building performance in use 4: the Probe occupant surveys and their implications
The main findings from the Probe occupant surveys are assessed. The emphasis is on the consequences for strategic thinking on how best to design and manage buildings to improve conditions forExpand
Simulation in user-centred design: helping designers to empathise with atypical users
Time and budget constraints frequently prevent designers from consulting with end-users while assessing the ease of use of the products they create. This has resulted in solutions that are difficultExpand
Human Factors Methods: A Practical Guide for Engineering and Design
This second edition of Human Factors Methods: A Practical Guide for Engineering and Design now presents 107 design and evaluation methods as well as numerous refinements to those that featured in theExpand
Using disability data to estimate design exclusion
TLDR
The 1996/1997 disability follow-up survey, conducted by the Office of National Statistics, is currently the most comprehensive data source for estimating design exclusion in the UK and a method is presented that uses this data to estimate the exclusion associated with several tasks that occur in series or in parallel. Expand
Countering Design Exclusion: An Introduction to Inclusive Design
Inclusive design, universal design and universal access are long standing, familiar terms with clear and laudable goals. However, their teaching and industrial uptake has been very limited. ManyExpand
...
1
2
3
4
...