Architecture’s UX Problem: Research shows people don’t understand how to use high-performance buildings

11.16.17: evidence (as featured in CO.DESIGN)

Julia K. Day remembers the moment she got interested in understanding how people use architecture. Day, who is now an assistant professor in Washington State University’s School of Design and Construction, was a design student studying a new high-performance building in Spokane, Washington. The building had an interface designed to let people know when it was environmentally ideal to open the windows rather than use the A/C. When the conditions was right, a green light would come on–supposedly letting people know they should open their windows.

Supposedly. No one she talked to even knew the system existed. “They thought it was part of the fire alarm system,” Day recalls over email. “Some people didn’t even know they could open their windows! I remember thinking, ‘This is crazy. The owner probably spent a lot of money to have this fancy system installed, and no one even knows what it is.’” It was a classic example of the mismatch between the way today’s most efficient and advanced buildings are designed, and how people actually end up using them.

Read full article by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan HERE