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… 

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.

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.

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 occupants

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 CO2

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 CO2

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.

Design and Evaluation of a "Smart Individualroom heating is" to Improve comfort and Save Energy in residential buildings

TLDR
This work presents the requirement analysis, implementation and field test evaluation of a novel smart individual room heating prototype that combines an intuitive user interface, supporting feedback and automation capabilities, and leads to lower setpoints by 2-3°Celsius on average, which could enable significant energy savings.

Do domestic heating controls save energy? A review of the evidence

A comparison of methods currently used in inclusive design.

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.

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 of

Designing for the home: a comparative study of support aids for central heating systems.

Improving the usability and learnability of a home electric appliance with a long-term usability study

TLDR
There was a pattern in learning a new user interface and that users looked for text information and prompt feedbacks right after obtaining the new product, and providing necessary support at appropriate times might be useful to make the learning process easier.

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.

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 for

Simulation in user-centred design: helping designers to empathise with atypical users

TLDR
This paper questions the reliability of existing tools in providing designers with meaningful information about the users’ capabilities, and presents a new capability-loss simulation toolkit that proved to be significantly helpful for a group of designers identifying real usability problems with everyday devices.

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 the

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.

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. Many