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Eco-visualization for amateur energy work: Supporting energy management in Housing Cooperatives
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC).
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Eco-visualization technologies aim to trigger more environmental behaviors by providing feedback about the usage of key resources such as energy. However, the design of these technologies to encourage energy conservation has been mainly focused on individual behaviors in a household level. Addressing a different approach researchers at KTH have designed the housing cooperative app, a web application that provides feedback about the collective energy consumption of housing cooperatives in Stockholm, aiming to reduce the cooperative's collective energy use.

By using a Research Through Design approach, this thesis explores how data visualization can support amateur energy work through the housing cooperative app. For this, I identified design problems in the data visualization elements of the app, which I aimed to solve by redesigning them; then, I conducted semi structured interviews with amateur energy workers, where they interacted with the application, to generate new insights about how data visualization can be used in an amateur work context.

Through the interviews it was possible to obtain qualitative answers about the challenges of amateurs energy workers and the way data visualization could be used to address theses challenges and achieve their goals in an efficient way. The interviews was divided in Background, Amateur work, Comprehension and Usefulness of the data, and were supported by a walkthrough in the application presenting to users different scenarios and features in the application.

Results showed the potential that data visualizations have to support amateur energy workers to overcome their main challenges and to identify the rewards of their work. In this thesis I discuss about this potential, and about design aspects that are important to consider when designing eco-visualization technologies in amateur energy context.

Abstract [sv]

I detta examensarbete undersöktes hur datavisualisering kan stödja icke-professionellt energiarbete vid användning av appen utvecklad för bostadsrättsföreningar. För att göra detta användes metoden research through design. Under arbetet identifierade jag problem i appens tidigare design och förbättrade visualiseringselementen. Efter detta utfördes en intervjustudie av semistrukturerad form med icke-professionella energiarbetare som informanter. Under dessa intervjuer interagerade informanterna med appen i ett försök att finna nya insikter om hur datavisualisering kan användas i en icke-professionel kontext.

 

Intervjuerna var uppdelade i de tre kategorierna: bakgrund om informanten, icke-professionellt arbete samt förståelse och användbarhet av informationen i appen. Under intervjuerna utförde jag en demonstration av appen för att presentera de olika funktioner och scenarier jag ville utvärdera. Intervjuerna gav mig ett kvalitativt resultat med insikter om de hinder som upplevs av användargruppen, och hur datavisualisering kan användas för att åtgärda dessa.

 

Resultaten visade att datavisualisering har potentialen att hjälpa utövare av icke-professionellt energiarbete. Detta görs genom att underlätta deras uppgifter, samt en ökad förståelse för de positiva konsekvenser det för med sig. Slutligen diskuterar jag potentialen av ekovisualisering, samt de designaspekter jag anser viktiga för utveckling i en icke-professionell kontext relaterat till energi.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Eco-visualization, Data Visualization, Research Through Design, Amateur Work, Housing Cooperative
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-204621OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-204621DiVA: diva2:1085700
Subject / course
Media Technology
Educational program
Master of Science - Media Technology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-04-20 Created: 2017-03-30 Last updated: 2017-04-20Bibliographically approved

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