Comparing the usability of heating controls

Back in 2013, we were early on our journey to find out how to decarbonise heating. Businesses started to launch smarter heating controls. Government wanted to check how easy they were to use to inform their policies. 

We helped them do some usability testing with an agency to find out. Here’s how it worked.

They recruited some participants who used different controls to complete some common tasks. Then they measured if they could complete each task, how long it took and how many mistakes they made.

Their participants found it hard to complete tasks quickly or easily. All too often, the systems were complex and confusing.  The agency worked with each supplier to help them improve their product.

Government waited for products to improve before introducing policies to increase their uptake. This was a complex study because government were comparing many different products. Most studies only measure the usability of 1-2 products so they are quicker and simpler.


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