Taking control to an easier level

Drayton, part of Invensys, asked PDD to help with replacing its flagship mass-market central heating programmer ‘Tempus’ with something more usable that would also appeal to consumers and installers stretching from continental Europe to the US.

We interviewed and observed installers and consumers to understand practices, patterns of use, frustrations and misconceptions. We discovered, for example, that consumers thought the “boost” function increased temperature, rather than extending the time of the currently-running programme. So, we simply renamed the function “+1 hr” to match the consumers’ expectations. Moreover, to make it easier to set-up programmes, we created an on-screen guide (easitext) that stepped users through the set-up procedure, enabling them to reduce their energy consumption by making it quick and easy to select more efficient programmes.

We also designed the product to provide a décor-neutral and understated aesthetic with multi-market appeal. We used models and simulations to validate the designs before engineering the product for compactness and tactility, cost-efficiency and safety.