Client Challenge: resolve apparent contradictions
Classic ‘programmable thermostats’ were very hard to use. Hence, 80% of programmable thermostats had no schedule programmed at all and were only used as Up and Down buttons, often ‘always on’ and wasting energy.
When designing the initial user experience and interface for the Toon thermostat, we had to find a way to solve apparent contradictions. How to offer comfort heating while saving energy? How to give users both full control and ease of use?
ILUMY Innovation: prototyping motivators to schedule a thermostat
It takes time and learning to customize a heating schedule and adjust on the go. During the design, we explored ways to motivate people to take the time to create and adjust their schedule. We explored visual schedules, four simple heating modes, new ‘thermostat language’, one-click money savings, awareness of energy use, and using the thermostat as a weather station.
Shared insight: people only customize with strong direct incentives
Only with strong direct motivators, people will take the time to customize: improving comfort, seeing energy use and getting direct savings. It helps to nudge people to use a standard schedule. A learning thermostat can do customization for you.