**Due to contractual obligations, some of the information below is obscured &/or missing.**
Why Exploratory Research?
Nexia, a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand, wanted to know more about their users. With the rise of competitor products in recent years like Google's Nest and Amazon's EcoBee, a to switch to a user-centered perspective was necessary to keep up. I conducted exploratory user research and design thinking workshops in the last 2 months of my internship in order to deliver key insights necessary to the product roadmap.
HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE
I completed this project in the 6 remaining weeks of my 15 week internship.
MAKE OF THE TEAM
I was the sole UX researcher.
Explore user needs & turn those insights into feasible, delightful solutions.
Intern Turned Strategist.
With 6 weeks left of my 15 week internship, I found myself in a unique situation as the sole UX designer for Nexia Home. Even though I was still an intern, I was able to use this freedom to lead my own UX strategy.
During the first part of my internship, I spent a lot of time learning and researching different design thinking strategies & IBM's enterprise design thinking stood out to me. I got the "okay" from my Product Owner to pilot the strategy which meant collaborating to draft Hills* that drove the intent of the project, recruiting Sponsor Users (aka Nexia Champions) who were representatives of end-users that collaborated with me along the process, and holding weekly Playbacks to discuss the progress.
Since I wasn't working on a team & I was somewhat siloed,
the Sponsor Users became my team who I collaborated with multiple times a week.
*After creating these hills & diving into the UX process, I realized that they were too broad. They really encompassed the entire user journey. In the future, I would make them much more descriptive & actionable.
In 2016, Trane conducted in-depth user research to identify their customers through Deep Blue Research. I used this research with Nexia personas as a starting point to a more in depth understanding of the end-to-end journey. Then, I found sponsor users who represented each persona.
Indulgent Home Aficionados
Older, affluent home owners
Premium Home Maintenance
Comfortable Home Environment
New, Smart Technology
Younger families, 1st-2nd time Homeowners
Invisibile, Seamless System
Safe, Healthy, Green Home
Comfort over Cost
Older, middle class, cost-conscious
Cost & Energy Savings
Control of system
Comfortable Home Environment
User Journey Map
Overview of User Interviews
5 Interviews with Existing Users, 5 with potential users
Users were identified based on persona
8 states represented (see map below)
Varied ages, stages of life, house sizes, & climates
Themes, Insights, & How Might We?
1. Users want control over their temperature and comfort, and schedules seem to take away control.
2. Users with unpredictable schedules or users who spend a lot of time at home do not see the benefit in using schedules.
3. Settings are confusing to set up and use.
After savings for over a year to upgrade my HVAC & spending $15k on a Trane, the only difference I notice is that it’s much quieter.
There was no joy in
my purchase. How do I know that it was my money?"
- Mike K.
How might we provide exceptionally attuned comfort without compromise?
From Insights to Action
After analyzing the user research, I used the insights as starting points for a collaborative ideation alongside the Nexia Champions (sponsor users). Below are the converged themes, ideas, and solutions that resulted from the co-creation sessions.
hover to view user story
Customization through Modes
Save the Wallet & Planet!
Health & Maintenance