too hard for average people to acquire intuitions
about the relationship between the CCHI, its constituent factors and subfactors, and the actual habitability of a particular place.
The CCHI interaction design affords a view of the
habitability of a place in accordance with the summarization of the five main risk factors. The CCHI
interaction design can also display the habitability
of a place in accordance with a sub-selection of
the risk factors. For instance, in Figure 3 the map
expands only the water risk factor apropos of four
detailed risk subfactors, namely freshwater systems,
drought, flood, and drinking water availability.
Simple design. In constructing a design for the
CCHI and initial notions of interactivity, we want
to choose the simplest possible representations we
can think of. There is a lot of data available, and
assessing the actual habitability of a particular
location in terms of risks associated with climate
change is a tremendously complex and intricate
calculation. Our goal here is to hide all this complexity inasmuch as it is possible to do so. We chose
to use color to denote degree of risk, using typical
semantics of green through red hues. As we have
mentioned, grayscale may also be substituted as a
matter of accessibility without loss of semantics.
Time and temperature. Another two essential features of CCHI are time and degrees of warming (or
cooling). Our purpose is to allow people to see historical trends and future predictions about how climate change affects our Earth over periods of time.
People need to be able to see what the Earth may
look like when the average temperature increases
by a specific amount, which in the IPCC summary
diagrams ranges from 0 to 6 degrees Celsius of
warming [ 2]. Two degrees Celsius of warming is generally considered to be the tipping point. Figure 4
illustrates as a matrix the space of what needs to be
represented apropos of time and degrees of warming historically and in prediction as underlying data
to support the interactivity. Based on the assumptions of the IPCC reports, we define year 2000 to be
the base point and set the temperature change to be
0 for 2000, relative to the period from 1980–1999 [ 2].
Crowdsourcing. One primary goal of the CCHI
is to target a wider audience than climate scientists, local policy holders, planners, and managers—namely individuals in the general public
and societal groups at various levels, from civic
groups and municipal officials to regional,
national, and international bodies. We also hope
to include formal scientific data sources as well
as crowdsource reporting and the wiki-style editing of data about global habitability conditions.
The latter form of data collection risks confidence
in the data compared to peer-reviewed reporting by the scientific community, but so long
as such contributions are clearly demarcated,
they also have the benefit of involving the public, raising awareness, and prompting debate.
The program of research and practice that has
evolved in our interaction design and HCI community around sustainability is important and promising work. We need to augment our efforts to also
focus on adaptation in the face of the likelihood of
climate change regardless of our efforts to mitigate
such changes. This initial design sketch of the CCHI
is one step in this direction.
As always, if you are engaged in interaction
design or HCI research related to adaptation to climate
change, kindly consider contributing to this forum.
—Eli Blevis, Editor
We gratefully acknowledge the valuable discussions
about the CCHI we had with Beth Plale, Paul Dantilio,
and Shunying Blevis.
About the AuthorS Yue Pan is a doctoral
student in the Human-Computer Interaction Design
program at Indiana University’s School of
Informatics and Computing. She has a background
in computer science, and her area of research is
sustainable interaction design.
Chit Meng Cheong is a master’s student in the
Human Computer Interaction Design program in
the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana
University Bloomington. He works in the field of
sustainable interaction design.
Eli Blevis is an associate professor of informatics in
the Human-Computer Interaction Design program
of the School of Informatics and Computing at
Indiana University, Bloomington. His primary area of
research—sustainable interaction design—and his
core expertise are situated within the confluence of
human-computer interaction as it owes to the computing and cogni-
tive sciences, and design as it owes to the reflection of design criti-
cism and the practice of critical design. His research also engages
design theory, digital photography, and studio-based learning.
November + December 2010
© 2010 ACM 1072-5220/10/1100 $10.00