Image courtesy of Modern Moulds and Tools Ltd. Used with permission.
and design teams. These six
choices complement one another
in their diverse qualities and
approaches. Through these
critiques we hope to illustrate
some of the different ways in
which designers have begun to
promote energy conservation in
use, with the goal of teasing out
implications that may eventually
contribute to the formation of a
critical design framework.
As a starting point, we have
loosely structured the critiques
around five interaction qualities/
criteria, which are well-known
concepts used in designing or
evaluating designs within the
HCI and interaction-design lit-
erature. We believe each interaction quality has potential value
for designing to promote sustainability in use, and so we have
framed the following open-ended questions to serve as impetus
• Persuasion. Does the product
encourage formation of conservation goals and help users attain
these goals by providing motivational cues and incentives?
• Usefulness and Usability. Does
the product encourage sustainable behaviors by making them
easier, more convenient, and integrated with useful functionality?
• Aesthetics. Does the product
offer aesthetic value, such as pleasure, engagement, etc., that encourages sustainable interaction?
• Symbolic Value. Does the
product come to serve as a
symbol of personal values and
meaning, which encourages
• Potential for Critical
Reflection. Does the product
stimulate critical reflection and
discussion about issues related
to energy and sustainability?
The following six critiques
The EcoEye home energy monitor
Image courtesy of
Inc. Used with
The Belkin Conserve power strip
Image courtesy of Potenco, Inc. Used with permission.