Designing Interfaces for Home Energy Users: A Preference Study

  • Janelle LaMarche
  • Olga Sachs
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 173)


The current study compared user-generated preferences of energy management visualizations to established principles of dashboard design and visual perception. Twenty subjects rated paper prototypes of seven energy web portals according to aesthetic and usability parameters and completed a forced-choice task on six visual pairs contrasting elements of feedback design. Questions addressed the look of the interface, understanding, usefulness, friendliness, level of visual clutter, and desire to explore. Results revealed robust differences between mean interface ratings across questions, and follow-up pairwise comparisons further revealed user data was found to be in line with a predetermined pattern of rankings. These results suggest that user-centered design is critical to the implementation and functionality of energy saving visual technologies and can inform future prototypes that maintain effective aesthetics as well as realistic cognition.


User Experience Home Energy Management Feedback Interface Design Psychology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janelle LaMarche
    • 1
  • Olga Sachs
    • 1
  1. 1.Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy SystemsCambridgeUSA

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