Living with an autonomous spatiotemporal home heating system: exploration of the user experiences (UX) through a longitudinal technology intervention-based mixed-methods approach

Kruusimagi, Martin and Sharples, Sarah and Robinson, Darren (2017) Living with an autonomous spatiotemporal home heating system: exploration of the user experiences (UX) through a longitudinal technology intervention-based mixed-methods approach. Applied Ergonomics, 65 . pp. 286-308. ISSN 1872-9126

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Abstract

Rising energy demands place pressure on domestic energy consumption, but savings can be delivered through home automation and engaging users with their heating and energy behaviours. The aim of this paper is to explore user experiences (UX) of living with an automated heating system regarding experiences of control, understanding of the system, emerging thermal behaviours, and interactions with the system as this area is not sufficiently researched in the existing homes setting through extended deployment. We present a longitudinal deployment of a quasi-autonomous spatiotemporal home heating system in three homes. Users were provided with a smartphone control application linked to a self-learning heating algorithm. Rich qualitative and quantitative data presented here enabled a holistic exploration of UX. The paper's contribution focuses on highlighting key aspects of UX living with an automated heating systems including (i) adoption of the control interface into the social context, (ii) how users' vigilance in maintaining preferred conditions prevailed as a better indicator of system over-ride than gross deviation from thermal comfort, (iii) limited but motivated proactivity in system-initiated communications as best strategy for soliciting user feedback when inference fails, and (iv) two main motivations for interacting with the interface – managing irregularities when absent from the house and maintaining immediate comfort, latter compromising of a checking behaviour that can transit to a system state alteration behaviour depending on mismatches. We conclude by highlighting the complex socio-technical context in which thermal decisions are made in a situated action manner, and by calling for a more holistic, UX-focused approach in the design of automated home systems involving user experiences.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: User-experience, UX, Design, Human-computer interaction, Spatiotemporal heating, Application, Interface, Home heating, Technology intervention
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.apergo.2017.06.017
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 12:16
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2017 02:59
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/45592

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