I bought a Nest, a “cloud-based” programmable and semi-intelligent thermostat, a few years ago afterDon Norman关于它。唐是现货(因为他和羊陶真空等其他物品一样,并且Starck Juicy Salif)。这是一个令人兴奋的求爱 - 从把它从盒子里取出,我第一次在我在另一个国家时调整我家中的热量 - 我真的很喜欢它。


但事情都失败了。在过去的几个月里,瞧ve morphed to agitation. Agitation turned to dislike. And dislike swelled to antipathy. How has this inanimate device gone from astounding to abominable? In the spirit of self-psychoanalysis, I have deconstructed and determined that most of the reasons can be attributed to brokenUX principles和ignoredUX heuristics。And most important, this is a palpable case ofemotional designgone awry.

In his book,“情感设计:为什么我们喜欢(或讨厌)日常事物”Don Norman describes the 3 building blocks of emotional design. These are:

  • Theviscerallevel “is what nature does”, it “dominates physical features, has the same rules all over the world.”
  • Thereflectivelevel “is all about the message, culture, the meaning of the product or its use; evoking personal remembrance; self-image.”
  • Thebehaviorallevel “is all about use...function comes first.”

I can attribute each of my loves or distastes for the Nest underthese 3 levels


When I first got my Nest I felt like I had super powers because it connected to Wi-Fi and enabled me to adjust my home’s temperature using the Nest website ortablet app。这对当时的恒温器是闻所未闻的。但是这种积极的特征被酋长控制的负元素黯然失色。(和控制is what you really want when it comes to using a device.)

A learning device implies that it will not only pick up on what you usually do, but it will also: 1) allow you to change, and 2) absorb those changes. My Nest learned quite well, but then stopped learning. It remembered but it didn’t look for variations or adapt. It was the equivalent of a printed textbook: Facts, correct or not, become law if written in there and thus will be taught that way until the school chooses a different textbook.

When I turned the dial to increase the heat to 66 degrees, rather than responding by making the house warmer, or by informing me that it is now working toward this, it read, "in 1 hour and 20 minutes 66 degrees until 10:00PM.” The next day the house temperature plummeted to a punishing 50 degrees (I realize I may be spoiled) for no reason I was privy to. Here, by the way, is another usability heuristic not heeded: visibility of system status.

Try as I might, it won’t listen. So I pull on another sweater (a la Jimmy Carter) and mittens and a hat. Indoors. In my home. I am serious. And I wait until my thermostat decides that I am worthy of radiant warmth.


为什么不筑道让我通过转动拨号来转动热量?这个顽固的UI可以是巢穴迫使客户节省能源的方式吗?这部分大师计划如此,所以广告可以谈谈巢有助于节省大量瓦特吗?可能不是,但我是一个像任何其他用户一样的用户,当我困惑(和冷)时,我有时会去黑暗的地方。人们形式mental models关于设备以及无适合的设备,然后像我推断的那样的解释变得可粘合。


When the Nest was a new thing, my guests asked about it, touched it, and were fascinated by it. By association it made me look more interesting. But now, because I can’t control the climate in my own home it makes me look bad, as though I am too cheap to turn the heat on. It’s embarrassing. I have had people over, freezing, who keep their coats making some polite excuse like, “I got a chill at the office I just can’t shake.”

Makes Me Feel Stupid (Reflective & Visceral)

At first, the Nest made me feel great. It was helping me save energy. It made it easy to do that, calculated how much energy I had saved, and reminded me about this via regular status emails. I could also look for the information myself using their apps. I was proud to be an early adopter of such a unique, cool, and expensive item. Yes, I was shallow and nerdy all at the same time.



Beauty Is Only Chrome Deep (Visceral)

The Nest looks pretty on my wall, especially as opposed to its old, utilitarian-looking predecessor. The physical appearance may win everybeauty contest, but if I can’t do what I want with it, then it’s art not design.

Makes It Difficult to Recover (Behavioral)

重组thermostat means dealing with several tiny little circles that represent the temperature at different times. Whether using theapp on a tablet, or using the Nest itself, it is incredibly tedious and slow to make these changes. Yes it’s programmable, but it feels like Linux.

Small orange dots for dragging and changing the temperature

Using the app on my tablet, it’s not easy totouch, tap, and drag在计划中调整点。

And it doesn’t seem possible to change the temperature at all using the iPhone app. It’s irritating that I can't do this important task, yet I can easily see how to spend more money with the company: add another Nest to the app; and buy a new service, Nest Protect.


It’s not easy to find a way to adjust the temperature using the phone app.

Not Moving With the Times (Reflective)

当我买了巢时,250美元似乎是合理的,可用于如此独特,易用,令人愉快的设备。但今天有几个额定评价的,可编程的恒温器,费用约为1/3的价格。(尽管他们可能并非全部连接到Wi-Fi,或者尝试学习我的习惯。)与长期使用相关的缺点可能已切入其competitive edge

Did Not Consider My State of Mind or Situation: Agitated and Cold (Visceral)

I live in the Boston area. Winter 2015. We have had record-breaking snowfall and many of us fear it will never stop. The groundhog just saw his shadow. There is snow everywhere and more is predicted, and soon. So even on days when the thermometer says it’s not that cold, it看起来feelscold. My mental state is as raw as my shovel-worn hands are. And being perpetually cold is not just a little nuisance; it’s one of the basic,生理需求in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Without these met humans can’t function.

Inconsistent: It Made Me Love it Then Let Me Down, and Didn’t Meet Expectations (Reflective)

Not any product can solicit this kind of animosity. The fact that Iloved它首先是真正的燃料。这有点像一个糟糕的分手:如果你真的崇拜这个人在关系结束之前,那么决赛可能比你对这个人的冷漠和刚刚脱毛的东西更痛苦或恶毒。所以当我的巢让我失望时,它不只是让我失望;它把我踢到了路边。


To be fair, Nest got so much right: The website has delightful elements, the apps make adjusting the climate from anywhere possible, the organization paired with energy companies to market it and give rebates, the design was pioneering, and the dial itself is beautiful. From an emotional-design perspective, the visceral, reflective, and behavioral elements were all very strong in the beginning. Over the years the behavioral level started lacking: the device became hard to use, as it stopped working to meet my needs. Interestingly, in turn, the behavioral downfalls greatly affected the reflective level. Once the device became unpredictable, the emotions toward the Nest turned negative. Visceral levels remained strong the longest, with classically good-looking elements, and a soothing style for the apps and email newsletter. But now even those have been damaged, and the device taunts me on my wall. I never stand in front of it and adore it anymore, as I had. (I am a dork.)

Moving On

Ironically, just after St. Valentine’s Day, I have decided to divorce my Nest. I’ll remove it from my wall, unceremoniously and with no fanfare. In its stead my fiancé will install a not-so-pretty, 35-dollar programmable thermostat we’ll pick up somewhere, probably using a discount coupon. With my new thermostat I doubt that there will be a whirlwind courtship, or showing it off to friends and family as it had been with the Nest. But I hope for a comfortable, long-term relationship, which is just what I need now from my thermostat.