Title: Models of the user: designers' perspectives on influencing sustainable behaviour

Authors: Dan Lockton; David Harrison; Neville A. Stanton

Addresses: Cleaner Electronics Research Group, Brunel Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK. ' Cleaner Electronics Research Group, Brunel Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK. ' Transportation Research Group, School of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Hampshire, SO17 1BJ, UK

Abstract: Influencing more environmentally friendly and sustainable behaviour is a current focus of many projects, ranging from government social marketing campaigns, education and tax structures to designers' work on interactive products, services and environments. There is a wide variety of techniques and methods used, intended to work via different sets of cognitive and environmental principles. These approaches make different assumptions about 'what people are like': how users will respond to behavioural interventions, and why, and in the process reveal some of the assumptions that designers and other stakeholders, such as clients commissioning a project, make about human nature. This paper discusses three simple models of user behaviour – the pinball, the shortcut and the thoughtful – which emerge from user experience designers' statements about users while focused on designing for behaviour change. The models are characterised using systems terminology and the application of each model to design for sustainable behaviour is examined via a series of examples.

Keywords: sustainable behaviour; sustainability; behaviour modelling; designers; patterns; user behaviour; behaviour change; design process.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2012.046137

Journal of Design Research, 2012 Vol.10 No.1/2, pp.7 - 27

Available online: 21 Mar 2012 *

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