Going green at home: The Green Machine
A global challenge for the 21st century is to find a sustainable way of life. The Green movement has helped to increase people’s awareness of sustainability issues and propelled development of innovative products to help decrease our ecological footprint. Smart Grid applications, which enable users to monitor their household’s energy consumption, are one of these innovative products. Critical data visualization helps to build awareness, but does not result automatically in effecting behavioral changes, which are required to ensure the Earth’s future and survival. The question then shifts to how exactly to motivate, persuade, educate, and lead people to reduce their household energy consumption. Our study proposes to research and analyze different powerful ways to improve “green behavior” by persuading and motivating people to reduce their household’s energy consumption through a mobile phone application we call the “Green Machine.” We have designed and tested a prototype that is based on behavioral change-process issues-analysis to persuade people to “go green.” This article explains the development of the Green Machine user interface, information design, and information visualization.
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