Usability guidelines for room temperature controls

Sami Karjalainen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    The importance of individual temperature control in offices was established in the 1980s and 1990s. Unfortunately, the advantages of individual temperature control have not been realized well in practice, largely because of problems in the usability of thermostats. In this article, user interface prototypes for room temperature control were developed with a user-centred approach. Usability tests were conducted several times during the development process. As the definitive result of the work, usability guidelines for room temperature controls were developed. The usability guidelines help to design highly usable room temperature controls. The usability guidelines are: keep occupants in the loop; visibility, identification and reachability of temperature controls; shared temperature controls with heating and cooling systems; acceptable default settings; simplicity of interface; clear way to adjust room temperature; advice on comfortable room temperatures; clear and sufficient feedback after adjustment; fast effect on room temperature; adequate effect on room temperature; informative help; and aesthetic design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-97
    Number of pages13
    JournalIntelligent Buildings International
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • room temperature
    • temperature control
    • thermal comfort
    • thermostat
    • usability
    • usability guidelines
    • user-centred design
    • user interface


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