Thermo

An APP that collects personal data to optimize offices' temperature.

ThermO Cover Image

Type
Mobile App resulted from a class named Personal Informatics

Time
2018.1-2018.4 & 2018.12

Teammates
Bess Anderson (UX Designer / UX Researcher) / David Goldin (UX Researcher) / Wenyang Mu (UX Designer)


My Role
Product Designer / Information Architect

Skills
Interaction Design / Product Thinking / Diagramming / Behavioral-Change Framework / Participatory Research

Tools
Illustrator / Sketch / Principle


PROBLEM & GOAL

In an office, he feels hot, while she feels cold! Energy is wasted...

Ilustration of how people feel different thermally

The goal of this system is to:

  • Make everyone feel good about room temperature.

  • Support energy-savings.

SOLUTION DEMO

Control based on how you feel:

Collects user's data to optimize the temperature and provide precise advice in the future.

Plan the outfit/clothings to wear/bring:

Promotes users to select outfits to pre-optimize temperature and give advice.

Tell ThermO what new outfit you get:

Provides users the flexibility to create their preferred set of outfit whenever they like.

If you are curious of your thermal fun facts:

Shows users the history and record of their thermal preference, their thermal status, and outfit preference.

RESEARCH

To engage the interviewers more, thus gather deeper insights and build better empathy, we followed the methodology of participatory design, which resulted in artifacts with insightful user journey as below:

the 1st Participatory Sheet from Participatory Interviews

From the interviews, we got the following insights:

  • INSIGHT 1. Temperature comfort depends on:

    1. Temperature.

    2. Gender.

    3. Outfit.

    4. Activity (duration of less than 20 min).

    5. Natural Light.

  • INSIGHT 2. In a public space, people seldom change the temperature:

    1. Rarely know how to control over the AC System.

    2. Hesitate to make any changes that may affect others.

    3. Have to bring extra clothings.

Design Process

1. Sketch out the user flow with system flow

Users report cold/hot and what they wear -> The system gets their ranges -> The system calculates the range that fits all users.

Sketch out the user flow with system flow
2. Diagram the system flow

Based on the sketch, "what components are needed in the system and how they work together with users?" became critical to be answered. This diagram was both the process (to seek the answer) and the result (aka. the answer itself).

Diagram the system flow
3. Wireframe for front-end and Algorithm for back-end

In order to assist users and make users trust the system, adaptability, accuracy and eco-friendliness (save energy) would be the keys. To ensure they are addressed, the diagram was produced to answer questions:

  1. What if no enough outfits are listed?

  2. What if users' reports/ratings are not stable?

  3. Within the temperature range, what degree will be targeted?

Wireframe for front-end and Algorithm for back-end
4. Design Iterations

We designed, collected feedback, and iterated. The decision processes of two major functions are as below.

(a) Planning the outfit/clothings:

Iterations on Planning the outfit/clothings

(b) Reporting how you feel:

Iteractions on Reporting how you feel

More details about the iterations can be checked at the Iteration Diagram

FINAL DESIGN FEATURINGS

1. I feel -> I tell -> I change
2. I plan smartly
3. I get notified -> I build the habit
4. New outfit -> new possibility
5. I contribute, I participate, and I forcast

REFLECTIONS

Next Steps
  1. Design for Logistic functions like register for offices, linking to schedules and other settings.

  2. Design for multi-platform, like wearable devices, etc.

Take-aways
  1. Make use of diagrams. If something is too complicated to explain and discuss in words, then illustrate it in the form of diagrams as the common ground for collaboration.

  2. Enjoy taking initiative and being bold. During the whole process, I often make "extra" efforts, including elaborating diagrams and figuring out the ways to develop it using Arduino, Framer, and Firebase. Although we did not have enough time to really fulfill that ambition, I have learned a lot through the way and, most importantly, have earned my teammates' trust and friendship.