Behaviours that Stick

Exploring emotional design of sustainable behaviours that stick

Behaviours that Stick aims to explore the emotional connection between home energy users  and home energy objects (electrical appliances) in order to design visual interfaces that cultivate daily usage habits towards energy saving. In this project we are exploring how the design of visual and emotional interfaces which provoke empathy can promote more sustainable energy use at home.

In recent years there has been a lot of interest on how home energy use can be reduced, by providing people at home with visual information on how much they spend on energy. Although such approaches start to appear in more and more homes, they have not managed to engage people enough and for long periods. Behaviours that Stick, on the other hand, focuses at engaging people  an emotional level, creating a more profound emotional response and empathy towards home energy use. 

In this project we are employing design-based research methods with creative and fun activities, such as visual diaries, participatory exhibitions, extreme user interviews and other co-design activities to explore home users energy use pattern and emotional responses. We will be also designing emotional interfaces and proof-of-concept prototypes of some of the best ideas that emerge from the research.

This project is co-funded by ESRC and Lancaster University’s Research Committee. It is part of the Radical Futures grants.