PsychNology Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, 55 – 72

Smart meters: A users' view

Daniel J. Kerrigan, Luciano Gamberini, Anna Spagnolli
University of Padova, Italy

Giulio Jacucci

University of Helsinki, Finland


ABSTRACT
Smart meters are assumed to support energy conservation thanks to the information provided to the energy utilities; however, given their pervasive presence in consumers' homes, they could also provide feedback to the consumers/users. The present paper considers a precondition to this latter possibility, namely that the meter interface be usable to lay consumers. The study involved 40 participants, who were videorecorded while performing a set of reading tasks with the smart meter installed in their house, with or without the help of the users' manual; they were also asked to fill in a questionnaire to evaluate the meter after the task series. The tasks allowed to test the meter's interface on a series of typical usability dimensions: effectiveness, efficiency, comprehensibility, memorability. The results of the analysis pinpoint the importance of some aspects of the interface which can guide the improvement of the meters' usability: they are related to the terminology used, the actionability of the information provided, the navigability of its information system and the self-explanatoriness of the data displayed. . 

KEYWORDS: smart meter, usability, interface

CITE AS:
Kerrigan, D.J., Gamberini, L., Spagnolli, A., Jacucci, G. (2011). Smart meters: A users' view. PsychNology Journal, 9(1), 55 - 72. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from www.psychnology.org.

Download Full Text (.pdf)   
Return to