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Title: Designing individualisation of eco information via a user centred design approach
Authors: Kwok, Sze Yin
Advisors: Harrison, D
Malizia, A
Qin, S
Keywords: Eco labelling;Information individualisation;User centred design;Sustainable design;Consumer behaviour
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis stemmed from the likely future scenario that the advancement of technologies will enable new ways for information display in everyday life. Following an initial review of existing research related to sustainable behaviour change and emerging technologies, a focus group study was conducted to explore people’s expectations for a ubiquitous eco information device at the point of purchase. It was found that there was a need for eco information provision that resembles eco labelling, but provides information in an interactive manner. This led to the definition of the research aim, which was ‘to encourage sustainable individual consumer behaviour at the point of purchase by proposing the design of eco information individualisation’. A literature review was undertaken to i) identify consumer issues of existing eco labelling practice and opportunities for improvement; ii) investigate the state-of-the-art of the development of various eco information solutions; and iii) explore the opportunities for eco information provision enabled by various contextual technologies. The literature revealed that nowadays consumers are facing difficulties in perceiving and understanding eco labels, and a number of the issues can potentially be tackled using a design approach. This thesis proposed the first conceptual framework of eco information individualisation for designers. ‘Eco information individualisation’ is a concept of tailoring eco labels according to the specific needs of individual users using contextual technologies. With technologies embedded on the product and the user, both of them can act as data carriers and have a traceable record (a ‘life history’). Information can be exchanged ubiquitously. An enabled product can be intelligent enough to appeal to a user with particular preferences. A second focus group study was conducted to evaluate the framework. A card sorting study was carried out to understand user's perception towards information conveyed on existing eco labels to inform the refinement of the framework. A design tool was developed to support designers in the designing of eco information individualisation. The tool was applied and evaluated in a design workshop. A mobile app prototype was then built based on a design output generated from the workshop. Findings from these studies have provided a greater understanding of designing for eco information individualisation, in particular through the creation of the framework, the design tool and the app, as well as the identification of user requirements for eco information design.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Design
Brunel Design School Theses

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