IDSE201 – Revision 5 of a thermostat

One more time…

Getting this far into the iterations, the work shifts from radical changes to polishing and refinement.  If you compare my previous specification to this current iteration, the two major changes you’ll notice are the addition of Scheduler flow screens and a special new addition, callouts…


The major improvement for this iteration is the addition of callouts. A callout is a way to drive the reader’s attention to a specific interaction so they know exactly which part of the interface you are referring to.

In the example above, I am making a generic tap on the screen to wake the unit from sleep mode.

While it may seem really simple, the addition of callouts to one’s specification allow for the designer to really take a step back and review their work.  Each time I added a callout, I asked myself the following questions, “Does this make sense?”, “Am I keeping the flow consistent, or am I making the user traverse the screen too much?”, “Would I want to tap this much to achieve this goal?”

Another fun thing to do after one has added callouts is to composite the screens.


By layering the screens on top of each other, a few things became obvious:

1. Red is annoying. I need to make the callout more neutral. My specification looks like a grammar school teacher was having a bad day.

2. I am doing the right thing. Notice how most of the arrows land in the middle of the screen? I am keeping the flow consistent and not causing a lot of screen traversal.

I expect a few more dramatic changes to occur as a twist has been thrown into the next assignment. Not only do we need to add Wifi support (already considered that if you look at my first concept map), but we also need to handle an exceptional state where if the house is too hot (like during a party), but it is in the winter months, the A/C system will break. How can we save the user from themselves?