Thermostat Version 2: Out with the old and in with the new

This is a continuation from my work on re-designing the interface of a thermostat. You can learn about that and what wireframes are, on my previous post.

After getting stuck with my first ideation of a thermostat interface design, my professor Matt Franks helped me work on sketching the main features of a flow, rather than a whole screen.

Taking it to the whiteboard, I came up with these options:

I decided to focus on my second iteration with a slider to manipulate the temperature. When I took it digital in illustrator, I decided to move from a traditional slider – which goes up and down and stays in the position where you left it – a modified toggle slider hybrid. The idea being:

1. A basic user could tap an up or down arrow to move the temperature +/- 1 degree.
2. A power user could use a two finger touch interaction to hold and then slide the toggle to rapidly move the temperature up and down.

Below is a flow for changing the temperature. You may view all my screens here on google docs.

I also worked on screens for turning the system on and off, switching between heating and cooling modes.

I also did a scheduling wizard which my testing showed needed a lot of work. For the sake of brevity (and my own pride) I won’t go too far in depth on it. Basically I realized after using an iphone every day I integrated a lot of their design solutions into my UI, especially in the scheduling. In testing younger users familiar with smart phones were able to decipher the process quickly – however, when a technologically less savy middle aged user tried to create schedule she got stuck in the middle and failed.

In trying to keep things simple I made setting a scheduled temperature almost exactly the same as setting the current temperature on the home screen. This was a fatal flaw and something I will be addressing this week.