About the project
Firewerx is a network home automation system that provides simplified control over users' home environments. This was an interface design project completed for a human factors - engineering psychology course.
I needed to understand who the users were, who the major competitors were, and the constraints of both the users and mainstream thermostats.
Some findings include:
· A thermostat device itself contributes to clutter of the home environment.
· Mainstream devices have unnecessarily difficult and or confusing program settings.
· With the rise of smart thermostats, much of UI on current thermostats are not appropriately designed.
Even though this was an interface project, it was important for me to attempt to break out of the shell of only improving the UI. I believe UI is only a fragment of the big picture - redesigning the user flow was more essential because smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular.
With research findings in hand, I applied a user-centered approach to refine the goals of the project.
The questions become:
How might we…
· Integrate thermostats into devices already present in a home environment?
· Make the user flow more streamlined and appropriate with today’s tech?
· Improve the interface display by applying human factors principles?
· Make temperature schedules more simplified to program?
Design and iteration
I created prototypes and iterated according to heuristic evaluations and opinions from peers. If you are curious about the human factors principles implemented, I explain the design rationale behind each screen here.
Beside being able to apply the human factor design principles into an actual interface, my biggest takeaway from this project was understanding that user-centered design is applicable, and should be applied, everywhere.
I was inspired to create a different and more innovative user experience that is more appropriate for today’s tech by being a bit skeptical of mainstream devices and pairing that with thorough user research.