Finished Assignments

User requirements analysis for a smart feedback system on household energy consumption and microgeneration

Master's assignment

Student: Suzanne Beltman
Supervisors: Albert Molderink and Matthijs Noordzij (CPE)
Location: Enschede
Finished: December 2013    

This research is a coorperation between the CAES energy research group and the Department of Cognitive Psychology & Ergonomics (CPE).


This study researched three novel issues in user requirements analysis for a feedback system on energy consumption: (1) microgeneration, (2) enterprises and (3) the robustness of the MoSCoW-method. A qualitative user requirements analysis was conducted using the MoSCoW-method for the prioritization of user requirements in households. Fifteen semi-structured individual interviews elicited 82 content and 86 presentation requirements for both consumption and (1) microgeneration. These requirements confirmed and complemented existing literature. Further results showed that different types of feedback were appropriate for different types of users. Household user groups were abstracted into three personas with different user requirements: the innovator environmentalist who mostly valued an accessible feedback system, the technology user who needed normative comparisons, system intervention and an intelligent system/smart grid. Finally, the saver who valued more indirect feedback, an energy saving game and system simulation. A comparison between household and (2) enterprise user requirements indicated that professionals preferred display in monetary units, while householders preferred more detailed, specific, on-demand feedback, more display influence and a zooming function. When designing a feedback system, designers should not use a one size fits all solution for both households and enterprises. Finally, this study showed that changes in cut-off scores resulted in MoSCoW prioritization changes for a maximum of 5.9 percent of the content requirements. These were promising results for the (3) robustness of the MoSCoW-method for the prioritization of user requirements.