tado° is a smart home startup based in Munich. Through their app and since their foundation in 2011, they’ve worked to minimize global energy consumption with smart, heating and cooling technologies. Rapid growth, however, comes with risks: In the past 2 years, there was little time to tackle the user needs of the large tado° community.
tado° approached Goodpatch for UI and UX design support. Together, we formed strong concept teams and identified the most urgent pain points highlighted by numerous posts in their forum and on social media. In the previous app update and in an attempt to declutter their UI, they removed features that their users apparently liked.
“Around a third of all global energy consumption goes to the heating and cooling of buildings. Smarter technologies allow more efficient control and can save up to 31% of that energy.”
The most requested feature on the smart home app was the ability to manually switch between the Home and Away mode. tado° relies largely on geofencing, which means that the state of your heating changes according to your position. If you are in Away mode, your system is not heating, and if you are Home, your household is warm and cozy. The system works so well that tado° decided that the user doesn’t need to switch between these two modes because the logic works for itself. There are some cases, however where users want to switch manually between Home and Away settings. Imagine, for instance that a nanny is babysitting your children at home while you are away. Working together, we tackled this issue and introduced a new element that allows users to switch between the different modes manually.
A visual representation of the heat request was almost lost in their last update. In the old app, this feature was relatively prominent on the room screens and showed the user if tado° was requesting heat from the system. We decided to address user needs directly and sent out a short survey that presented the different approaches and asked for their feedback. The response rate was overwhelming. Almost 100% of users surveyed submitted invaluable and insightful feedback. With these new insights we were able to reimplement the feature in the smart home app.