When’s the last time you got really excited about the design of a thermostat?
Unless you’re in the heating and cooling business, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess your answer is “never.” In fact I’m going to guess you probably only look at it when you’re either too hot or too cold and, other than that, it’s probably more of an eye soar than a focal point.
Transforming a product from boring to beautiful
Any time you’re trying to reinvent an existing product, it’s easy to want to look like everyone else. Just think about the last time you went shopping.
The shelves were probably filled with dozens of options—all of which shared a fairly similar design.
But if there’s one thing Apple taught us with the success of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod it’s that product design and user interface matter A LOT.
You only need to take a quick glance at the Nest Learning Thermostat to immediately appreciate the importance of great design.
Even though there is some incredibly powerful technology under the hood (we’ll talk more about that later), they also spent just as much time thinking about how their product should look and the user experience they wanted to create for their customers.
The thing I love most about their design is that they embraced the “essence” of the thermostats that came before it.
They could have taken the easy way out and gone with the same look and feel of the big boxy programmable models currently on the market, but instead they decided to create something gorgeous--something beautiful.
What really helps to set Nest apart is its functionality. If you own a programmable thermostat, you know that initial setup can be a pain.
You have to cycle through each day of the week, creating specific settings based on your typical schedule. If that schedule happens to change (and it always does), you have to remember to go back in and make those updates.
Using a combination of sensors, algorithms, and computer processing, they’ve been able to harness some really cool technology to create a device that learns your preferences and behaviors and uses that information to automatically adjust the temperature when you’re away.
By focusing on “pain points” and the growing demand for tools to help consumers save energy, save money, and save the environment, Nest was able to design a better product.
Want to crank up the heat on your product design?
Whether you’re designing thermostats or the next iPad--the look, the feel, the functions, the form—are ALL incredibly important.
Customers have A LOT of choices. If you’re going to turn some heads, you’ve got to focus on the entire user experience from the second they see your product online or on the shelf, until they’re actually using it.
By: Shawn Graham