Honeywell Thermostat System Redesign – Concept Model 1 & 2

In IDSE201, we were introduced to the idea of mental models, which can be thought of as how we all just “think” how something works in the real world.  These models actually help us solve problems and achieve goals and in general are a good framework to begin with for reasoning when dealing with complexity.  So with the introduction of this new way of thinking, we were asked to create 2 concept models, which are visual representations of large scale, sometimes complicated systems and their relationships in terms of digital touchpoints.

A digital touch point is the place where a person interacts with a machine.  And in the same way introductions give us an understanding of where to start when meeting people for the first time, the same thought applies when interacting with a machine.  How the user is suppose to interact or what the user is suppose to do with the machine should be as clear as possible when designing for an already complex system.  Any ambiguity around these interactions could leave the user confused instead of interested in using a new machine for the first time.

And confused and a bit overwhelmed is exactly how I initially felt when interacting with the Honeywell Prestige 2.0 thermostat system – which was the subject for our first ask in creating a concept model for the existing system.

Concept Model 1:

I was initially confused because my mental model of how a thermostat worked and how the existing system actually worked were two very different things.  At a base level, I was looking to turn the system on and adjust the temperature, but was also curious about what else the system could do.  So after a comprehensive and exhaustive review of all the screens, I was mostly overwhelmed yet disappointed.  The sheer number of menu options and preference settings were overwhelming to get through and I didn’t quite understand how most of the menu section was relevant or why it even existed.

So after taking an account of what was done – I re-prioritized the features and created Concept Model 2 as a representation of my ideal system. My goal here was to keep the design simple and easy for the user to use.

Concept Model 2: