Problem Statement and Goals | Persona Process | Personas | Task Analysis | Work Breakdown | Appendices

Revised Problem Statement and Goals

Corporate and governmental office spaces do not use their lighting systems efficiently. Often lights remain on in unused sections of the building or even after all the building's occupants have left for the night. Furthermore, the lights tend to be controlled in large groups; sometimes a single switch controls whole floors or even the entire building. This eliminates an individual occupant's environmental control as well as creating potentially wasteful lighting plans.

Charlie Huizenga, working for the Center for Built Environment (CBE), has developed a wireless lighting control system that can give building occupants complete control over any light in the building. The implementation of flexible controls has already been shown to cut a building's total energy consumption by as much as 15%. A unique characteristic of this system is that it is designed to retrofit existing lighting fixtures in a cheap and efficient manner. Other more expensive solutions require the installation of entirely new lighting components.

In the new system, individual occupants are given wireless buttons that control the light above their personal workspace. However, there does not currently exist an interface for facility managers to control or monitor the building's entire lighting system. The wireless lighting project envisions that such an interface would allow managers to monitor energy usage, control the lighting at various levels and provide notice when there is a light failure.

The system should provide utility for all levels of users. Upper-level building managers are more concerned with the energy use, whereas electricians and maintenance staff are primarily concerned with spotting outages. There is even the possibility that those within the building might wish to track energy consumption and schedule sensible lighting plans for their floor. The lighting control system will support these tasks.

Project Goals

Our goal is to build a web-based interface that will allow facility mangers fine-grain control over lighting behavior, scheduling and hardware status. The system needs to be intuitive enough to allow ease of use by people who don't necessarily spend the work day in front of a computer. Operation failures must be discernable at a glance and the source of the problem should be readily identifiable. Energy trends should be clearly visible without requiring detailed calculations. Our goal also is to create a system that the user, with little outside support, can configure.


Persona Process

In developing these four personas, the team sought to capture a variety of uses for the wireless lighting system. After reviewing the product functionality and intent, our primary concern was measuring our users' concern for energy savings. Secondary concerns included the incentive to use this lighting product, specifically, whether the incentive was based on job security or job functionality. To address these conditions we interviewed six personnel across the UC-Berkeley system. Our subjects included three employees of the Physical Plant Operations & Maintenance Utilities group, the Facilities Manager of Moffitt Library, a campus-wide electrician and a building-specific maintenance electrician.

We employed a wide range of specific and open-ended questions to solicit this information and other operational data from our interviewees. We asked about their job functions -- addressing their daily tasks, any constraints under which they operate, and which tools they use. Then, we focused on energy savings to find out how this factored into their roles on campus. We also inquired about their specific job functions with respect to lighting. It seems that most of our subjects allocate some percentage of their time to address lighting. Regarding lighting we had them describe how they troubleshoot problems and what types of metrics they measure.

From these interviews we identified 4 different personas. The persona distinctions mainly fell along occupational lines. These resulting personas can be placed onto two 2-dimensional grids. We can plot the level of concern for energy savings versus the extent to which the personas' jobs depend on energy savings and the concern associated with basic lighting maintenance. When comparing concern versus job-dependence, we found that our personas cover {Concern-Low Job Dependence, Concern-High Job Dependence, No Concern - No Job Dependence}, leaving out a persona that has No Concern - High Job Dependence; this seems logical. When comparing Concern versus Lighting Maintenance, we cover three quadrants, missing No Concern for Energy and for Lighting Maintenance.

In the next phase, we considering merging down to 3 personas as our task matrix suggests that some of the persona share similar tasks and goals.



Thomas Cooper Age: 51
Title: Facilities Manager

Thomas is good at his job, very good. He has been working for the Austin Natural History Museum for the best part of 20 years and he has seen it all. He is weathered but not worn. No matter what the calamity, Thomas always maintains his sangfroid.

Mr. Cooper has a loving family. His wife, Linda, and his two daughters are the most important things in Thomas's life. Thomas likes to fly fish and cheer on his kids at whatever is their activity de jour. He confesses it is sometimes hard to keep up with what they are in to on any given day.

Thomas Cooper was born the oldest of 5 brothers in a modest Texas home. Thomas has steadily climbed his way to the top of facilities management for the most prestigious natural history museum of the state. It was no accident; Thomas works hard and is extremely resourceful. He is a republican's poster child of the bootstrap ideal.

Mr. Cooper is not a Luddite but really hasn't had time to stop and wrestle with any technology he doesn't absolutely need. He uses a computer to check and send email and Microsoft Word to compose longer letters. Recently the state started mandating that all non-urgent repair requests be submitted online, so now Thomas can find his way around basic web forms as well. Mr. Cooper would love to "bring his museum into the technology age." He understands that there should be an easier way to manage the building, but has no idea what it might be.

Thomas spends a lot of time wandering the premises checking on the building and checking in with the hundred of other museum employees who might have first-hand knowledge of any facility problems. Once every couple of hours he returns to his desk to check for problems reported by email or by phone.

The busiest time is always first thing in the morning. Thomas must check all his voice mail, email and messages left on his desk about problems found during the night. Then he must decide which are the most urgent and act on them. The biggest thorns in Thomas's side are the plumbers. No matter when you call them, they take forever to actually fix anything. His favorite joke begins "what to you call 1,000 plumbers at the bottom of the ocean?"

Thomas is still 9 years from retirement, but he is already worrying who is going to fill his shoes. There is a lot to learn.

  • To make sure all the maintenance issues get dealt with and the most important ones get handled first.
  • To keep track what has been done and what he is still waiting to get done.
  • To bring his operation into the "technology age."
  • To leave things in a way that someone will be able to pick up where he left off when he retires.

Thomas represents the quintessential faculties manager: long on duties, short on time. For our system to work for Thomas, it has to be simple and very practical. Any thing that makes the system too complex or frivolous will probably stop Thomas from using it. He is likely to need to interact with the system several times a day to monitor lighting status and once a month to adjust lighting schedules. His time sensitivity and emphases on making sure important lighting systems are working makes him an important persona. He is also being considered for our primary persona.

Dan Mason Age: 46
Title: Physical Plant Utilities Manager

Dan Mason is a divorcee with two teenage children from his marriage - Matt, 17 and Beth, 15. He prides himself on being a good dad even though he only gets his kids for weekends and some holidays. When he does have them, he often plans trips to go camping or to the beach - anything outdoors will do. If the weather is bad and he's forced to stay indoors, he'll play board games with Matt or help Beth out with her physics homework. Dan also really enjoys working on his 1964 Corvette; it is cherry red. It has never run quite right and there's always something new to work on, but he loves that car to death.

When he's not with his kids or working on his car, Dan is earning his salary as a manager of the physical plant office at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. One of the primary duties of his job is to pay the utility bills for the entire campus. As a consequence, he feels pressure to try to get all the buildings on campus to be as energy efficient as possible so that the bills stay within reason. Unforutunately, because he only has control of the utility technology at the buildings and not the actual way that the occupants use the energy, it is often difficult to get the occupants and building coordinators to be energy efficient.

Dan has become particularly concerned about the disconnect between building coordinators and occupants because of rising utility costs. On top of that, a recent policy from the Regents is calling for a 10% reduction in energy consumption by 2014. To combat these factors, Dan has recently started an initiative to build a stronger relationship with the building coordinators on campus which includes a positive feedback reward system for buildings that reduce their energy usage.

Meanwhile, Dan is doing his best to research and install technology that will help automate energy usage such as: better thermostats, motion and photo sensors on lights and more efficient fluorescent light bulbs. He has a few tools for tracking energy and lighting usage patterns and he uses these to figure out where to install the technology he purchases.

  • Save money in university energy bills.
  • Be environmentally responsible.
  • Comply with federal, state and university energy policies.

Dan Mason is an important persona for the LightsOn project because he pays the utility bills for the entire campus and therefore has a strong incentive to see energy usage reduced. The wireless lighting devices are a great technology for Dan to install in buildings because it will help automate the reduction of lighting energy consumption. Using technology like this is easier for Dan than trying to incentivize building coordinators and occupants to lower energy consumption.

Dan is also important because he is one of the few people on campus who has the power to purchase and install these wireless devices in buildings. He will want to justify his purchase by monitoring the energy usage (and hopefully reduction) by using a software interface.

Dan is different from the other personas mainly because he in a management position. He does not actually do any maintenance work or installation of the technology he purchases. Furthermore, he does not receive repair requests directly from occupants - these are sent to the physical plant call center and then delegated to electricians.

Steven Berger Age: 52
Title: Electrician

Steven Berger works as a campus-wide electrician at the University of Pennsylvania. He is one of 12 electricians on campus, and only 10% of his personal work has to do with lighting. His primary job function is to troubleshoot electric problems around campus. The University has approximately 150 buildings; Steven and his fellow electricians handle most of them.

Steven has never been married, but he has two children. His son, Billy, age 24, is also an electrician. He also has an estranged daughter, Juliet who works part-time as a cocktail waitress. Steven and Juliet do not have a good relationship, to put it mildly, but Steven and Billy often catch a game together. Steven is going through a mid-life crisis and is beginning to wish he had settled down earlier. He's picked up a few new hobbies, but he's mostly a beer-and-football type of guy. His favorite teams is the Philadelphia Eagles, so lately he has been in a very good mood.

Steven has been working for the University for 6 years, but still gets easily frustrated. Since he can be assigned tasks in any building on any given day, he has a hard time remembering how each building is wired. There is also a lack of consistency around campus due to a patchwork of systems installed by various outside contractors. Documentation on previously installed equipment is notoriously hard to obtain. Scheduling is very hard for him. The electricians are always shorthanded and they find that their list of "B-list" issues is getting longer and longer as more immediate problems always crop up. Steven wishes there was a better classification scheme for the electrical problems so that he could better assess priority.

He begins his typical day by checking in at the University Physical Plant and picking up a list of tasks for the day from his foreman. These tasks consist of a range of issues all around campus, not only lighting. Additionally, he can expect to receive notice of problems over his call-radio at any given time of day. A lot of the troubleshooting he handles consists of bad connections, breaker trips and ground faults or anything else that the regular building maintenance crew is unable to resolve. Most days leave him exhausted and ready for a cold beer.

Steven has no particular feelings about lighting systems since they make up only small part of his responsibilities. He feel no direct pressure in his job to manage more effectively energy use, but since he is a conscientious citizen and tax payer, he is personally concerned about energy savings overall. He also seems very concerned for the type of work done around the University, specifically research that relies heavily on the electrical systems as a whole. When asked about the sentiments of his fellow electricians, Steven is very cynical; he does not believe that the rest are so conscientious about the importance of the job functions. Steven is generally enthused, on his own part, for anything that will relieve his workload.

  • Better manage his scheduling throughout a day, week or month.
  • Find more reliable electrical systems.
  • Develop easier ways to manage and/or learn individual building's wiring and circuit layout.

Steven is an important persona to this project because he captures the energy conscious employee that is only concerned with energy as a personal choice, rather than as a job function. Steven's persona will help the team develop a user-interface that will capture additional functionality besides that related to energy savings to ensure that people like Steven will use the system. We want him to use our system because of this personal awareness of energy use; he will most likely affect other employees and instigate greater concern for energy savings.

Additionally, Steven differs from the other personas because of he will need to use the interface to view many different buildings every day. At a glance, the interface should be able to tell him which lights in the building are are not working properly. With minimal effort he should be able to determine which circuit the light is on to isolate the problem. Designing for a flat learning curve like his will be important.

Pedro Gomez Age: 35
Title: Maintenance Technician for YMCA

Pedro Gomez works at the Berkeley YMCA in Berkeley, CA. He does primary maintenance for the entire complex, working alone and under the the building operations manager. Pedro immigrated to the United States from Mexico with his wife 10 years ago. They live in Berkeley with four children, all of whom were born in the US. Pedro's first language is Spanish, and has never taken a traditional course in English. He learned his trade as an electrician at ITT upon moving to the US. Pedro has worked as an electrician at only one other job before the YMCA. He's been at the YMCA for 4 years now; he loves his job and so takes all his responsibilities very seriously. This year Pedro is taking his first vacation since starting the YMCA. He is taking his kids to Mexico to show them the town he grew up in, and the whole family is excited.

During his day Pedro monitors energy use by recording metering output. While he is responsible for all electricity problems, he concentrates mostly on lighting. Pedro logs on to a computer once every morning to get a list of tasks for the day, but he often is interrupted by the building operations manager with more pertinent problems as the day persists. His biggest asset are his wiring tools.

His building operations manager manages all of the YMCA's utilities bills, and because he operates on a strict budget, he is heavily focused on saving money through energy conservation. If Pedro's job ever focuses on energy conservation, it is only because of his boss's insistence. He sees much greater concerns in the world than whether room 3A left their lights on.

  • To complete tasks given to him by his building manager.
  • To fix things before they become a problem.
  • To micro-manage building maintenance.

Pedro is an important persona to this design problem because his primary concern is lighting and he has a only an indirect interest on energy savings. Pedro is going to need a more granular view of buildings, monitoring maintenance requests and energy output. He also might use the interface to schedule lighting for the various occupants of his building on a larger-scale. Because English is Pedro's second language, verbose text outputs are likely to be ignored.


Task Analysis

Each table below identifies the level of importance of tasks for each persona. Tasks are grouped by high-level goal.

  Dan Mason Thomas Cooper Steven Berger Pedro Gomez
GOAL: Keep Lights Working for Occupants N/A High High High
Find out what lights need repair N/A High High High
Track status of lighting repairs N/A High Medium High
Repair lights N/A N/A High High
Confirm that lights have been repaired N/A High N/A Low

  Dan Mason Thomas Cooper Steven Berger Pedro Gomez
GOAL: Save Energy & Money High Medium High High
Establish baseline of lighting energy usage High Low N/A Medium
See how lighting energy usage has changed over time High Low N/A N/A
See how lighting energy usage varies by location High Low N/A N/A
See how lighting energy usage varies by purpose High Low N/A N/A
Identify candidate locations for lighting energy savings High Low N/A High
Research lighting-based energy saving technologies High Low N/A N/A
Purchase energy-saving light technologies High Low N/A N/A
Install energy-saving light technologies High Low Low Low
Get building coordinators to reduce lighting energy usage High N/A N/A N/A
Get occupants to reduce lighting energy usage High Low N/A Low
Identify which lights can be turned off in response to an energy crisis High High N/A Medium
Turn off appropriate lights in response to an energy crisis High Medium Low High

  Dan Mason Thomas Cooper Steven Berger Pedro Gomez
GOAL: Keep Grounds Safe & Secure and Comply with Special Lighting Policies N/A High N/A Medium
Schedule lights to be on/off at certain times N/A High N/A Medium
Remotely control lights to turn on and off N/A Medium N/A Low
Purchase safety/security lighting technologies N/A High N/A N/A
Install safety/security lighting technologies N/A High Low Low

Work Breakdown

  Ivan Tam Lindsay Tabas Katrina Rhoads John-Mark Josling
Conduct Interviews 25% 35% 20% 20%
Create Personas 10% 40% 25% 25%
Develop Tasks and Goals 15% 25% 35% 25%
Construct Survey 5% 10% 75% 10%
Problem Statement Revision 45% 20% 0% 35%
Build Website 0% 0% 20% 80%
Final Assignment 2 Edit 25% 25% 25% 25%


Proposed Survey
Persona Interaction Diagram
Persona Graph