Behavioral Change through Interaction Design: Minimizing individuals’ environmental impact in their daily life

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2019
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MIKLIN, HANNAH
RÖHSS, DANIELLA
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Living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle is an important factor for the well-being and future of the planet. Making a change towards a lifestyle more bene cial to the environment is critical in order to slow down the consequences of the negative trend. Making a drastic change in one’s daily life can be dif cult. Motivational systems, such as persuasive user interfaces, supporting communities, and helping relationships, could engage and support people in making lifestyle changes. This could lead to a behavior change that favours the environment. The use of computers as persuasive technologies to change behaviors and attitudes was coined by B. J Fogg as Captology. This thesis explores how persuasive design principles can be used to motivate, support and raise awareness of individuals’ environmental footprint in the design of an eco-feedback carbon footprint calculator. Several areas were researched, and behavior change theories and persuasive design principles were proven to be valuable for the project aim. A preliminary study was carried out to explore existing research and solutions in the context, and an expert within the eld of sustainability was consulted to provide guidance and support in the project. To understand the needs of potential users in the context, a questionnaire was distributed and answered by respondents. As part of an iterative design process, theoretical knowledge and user insights were transformed into prototypes and were thereafter validated in a realistic setting. The nal result of this master’s thesis is a concept and prototype of a smartphone application called EcoHero. EcoHero utilizes principles of persuasive design, persuasion guidelines and behavior change theories and provides users with their daily carbon footprint summary, through calculations of their purchases and transportation routines. Together with EcoHero, 5 suggested features for designing persuasive technology related to behavior change were identi ed. The result of this project can be seen as an example of how to implement persuasive design principles in parallel with behavior change theories when designing eco-feedback applications. To fully understand the impact of the identi ed insights, the long term use aspect should be explored in future work.
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interaction design, behavioral change, sustainability, self-tracking, carbon footprint, persuasive design, persuasive technology
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