Defying Environmental Behavior Changes


May 9, 2012 @ 16:30, Room: 18AB

Chair: Alan Borning, University of Washington, USA
"We've Bin Watching You" - Designing for Reflection and Social Persuasion to Promote Sustainable Lifestyles - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Presents the design and study of BinCam, a social persuasive system to motivate waste-related behavioral change. Suggestions for employing social media and enabling social influence to promote change are provided.
Abstract » BinCam is a social persuasive system to motivate reflection and behavioral change in the food waste and recycling habits of young adults. The system replaces an existing kitchen refuse bin and automatically logs disposed of items through digital images captured by a smart phone installed on the underside of the bin lid. Captured images are uploaded to a BinCam application on Facebook where they can be explored by all users of the BinCam system. Engagement with BinCam is designed to fit into the existing structure of users' everyday life, with the intention that reflection on waste and recycling becomes a playful and shared group activity. Results of a user study reveal an increase in both users' awareness of, and reflection about, their waste management and their motivation to improve their waste-related skills. With BinCam, we also explore informational and normative social influences as a source of change (e.g., socially evoked feelings of 'guilt' for non-recycling or food disposal), which has to date been underexplored in persuasive HCI. Design implications for reflection and social persuasion are proposed.
Using Mobile Phones to Support Sustainability: A Field Study of Residential Electricity Consumption - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: We explore the use of a mobile system promoting electricity conservation in the home. Findings provide insight into peoples awareness of consumption and how this may be influenced through design.
Abstract » Recent focus on sustainability has made consumers more aware of our joint responsibility for conserving energy resources such as electricity. However, reducing electricity use can be difficult with only a meter and a monthly or annual electricity bill. With the emergence of new power meters units, information on electricity consumption is now available digitally and wirelessly. This enables the design and deployment of a new class of persuasive systems giving consumers insight into their use of energy resources and means for reducing it. In this paper, we explore the design and use of one such system, Power Advisor, promoting electricity conservation through tailored information on a mobile phone or tablet. The use of the system in 10 households was studied over 7 weeks. Findings provide insight into peoples awareness of electricity consumption in their home and how this may be influenced through design.
'Watts in it for me?': Design Implications for Implementing Effective Energy Interventions in Organisations - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: Describes a Grounded Theory analysis of a series of organisational energy workshops focused on employee perceptions and use of energy in the workplace. Presents design insights for technology-enabled energy interventions.
Abstract » The design of technological interventions to motivate behaviour-based reductions in end-user energy consumption has recently been identified as a priority for the HCI community. Previous interventions have produced promising results, but have typically focused on domestic energy consumption. By contrast, this paper focuses on the workplace context, which presents very different opportunities and challenges. For instance, financial consequences, which have proved successful as motivations in the domestic environment, are not present in the workplace in the context of employees. We describe the outcome of a sequence of workshops that focussed on understanding employee perceptions of energy use in the workplace, with the locus of activity on energy intervention design. Using a grounded theory analysis, we produced a framework of key themes detailing user perceptions and energy intervention design considerations. Our findings provide a framework of considerations for the design of successful workplace energy interventions.
The Design and Evaluation of Prototype Eco-Feedback Displays for Fixture-Level Water Usage Data - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: Inspired by emerging water sensing systems that provide disaggregated usage data, we explore a range of water-based feedback visualizations and examine issues of accountability, competition, and integration into domestic space.
Abstract » Few means currently exist for home occupants to learn about their water consumption: e.g., where water use occurs, whether such use is excessive and what steps can be taken to conserve. Emerging water sensing systems, however, can provide detailed usage data at the level of individual water fixtures (i.e., disaggregated usage data). In this paper, we perform formative evaluations of two sets of novel eco-feedback displays that take advantage of this disaggregated data. The first display set isolates and examines specific elements of an eco-feedback design space such as data and time granularity. Displays in the second set act as design probes to elicit reactions about competition, privacy, and integration into domestic space. The displays were evaluated via an online survey of 651 North American respondents and in-home, semi-structured interviews with 10 families (20 adults). Our findings are relevant not only to the design of future water eco-feedback systems but also for other types of consumption (e.g., electricity and gas).