Persuasive Eco-Feedback Technologies

Helen Ai He, Saul Greenberg, and Elaine M. Huang. “One size does not fit all: applying the transtheoretical model to energy feedback technology design.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2010), pp. 927-936. ACM, 2010.

Do you use a FitBit? How about an app that tracks how you spend your money?

These are called persuasive technologies – technologies that aim to persuade or motivate behavior change. In this paper, we explored the design of persuasive eco-feedback technologies – technologies that provide feedback on how much energy you’re using with the goal to motivate pro-environmental behaviors.

Examples of eco-feedback technologies – Bottom left:  Screenshot of Ubigreen. Bottom right: Screenshot of Google’s PowerMeter interface.

Current eco-feedback technologies primarily target people who are already motivated to be pro-environmental. But what about the people who aren’t? As we found in our research – one size does not fit all – in terms of design, that is.

To address this gap, our research synthesized psychological theories on motivation and behavior change to eco-feedback technology design. The goal is to target design to each stage of behavior change, from precontemplation, contemplation to preparation, action, and maintenance stages. More here!