Principles are becoming recognized and the enhanced

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principles are becoming recognized and the enhanced quality and lower costs of displays make it possible to implement the ideas. PROVIDING A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR A HOME THERMOSTAT My thermostat, for example (designed by Nest Labs), has a colorful display that is normally off, turning on only when it senses that I two: The Psychology of Everyday Actions 69 am nearby. Then it provides me with the current temperature of the room, the temperature to which it is set, and whether it is heating or cooling the room (the background color changes from black when it is neither heating nor cooling, to orange while heating, or to blue while cooling). It learns my daily patterns, so it changes temperature automatically, lowering it at bedtime, raising it again in the morning, and going into away mode when it detects that nobody is in the house. All the time, it explains what it is doing. Thus, when it has to change the room temperature substantially (either because someone has entered a manual change or because it has decided that it is now time to switch), it gives a prediction: Now 75 , will be 72 in 20 minutes. In addition, Nest can be connected wirelessly to smart devices that allow for remote operation of the thermostat and also for larger screens to provide a detailed analysis of its performance, aiding the home occupant s development of a conceptual model both of Nest and also of the home s energy consumption. Is Nest perfect? No, but it marks improvement in the collaborative interaction of people and everyday things. FIGURE 2.6. A Thermostat with an Explicit Conceptual Model. This thermostat, manufactured by Nest Labs, helps people form a good conceptual model of its operation. Photo A shows the thermostat. The background, blue, indicates that it is now cooling the home. The current temperature is 75 F (24 C) and the target temperature is 72 F (22 C), which it expects to reach in 20 minutes. Photo B shows its use of a smart phone to deliver a summary of its settings and the home s energy use. Both A and B combine to help the home dweller develop conceptual models of the thermostat and the home s energy consumption. (Photographs courtesy of Nest Labs, Inc.) A. B. 70 The Design of Everyday Things ENTERING DATES, T IMES, AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS Many machines are programmed to be very fussy about the form of input they require, where the fussiness is not a requirement of the machine but due to the lack of consideration for people in the design of the software. In other words: inappropriate programming. Consider these examples. Many of us spend hours filling out forms on computers forms that require names, dates, addresses, telephone numbers, monetary sums, and other information in a fixed, rigid format. Worse, often we are not even told the correct format until we get it wrong.
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