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Papers: Modeling user behaviors and activities adapted to use contexts

A Protocol to Address User Behavior in the Eco-Design of Consumer Products

[+] Author and Article Information
Emmanuelle Cor

G-SCOP,
Université Grenoble Alpes,
46 Avenue Félix Viallet,
Grenoble Cedex 1 38031, France
e-mail: emmanuelle.cor@grenoble-inp.fr

Peggy Zwolinski

G-SCOP,
Universite Grenoble Alpes,
46 Avenue Félix Viallet,
Grenoble Cedex 1 38031, France
e-mail: peggy.zwolinski@grenoble-inp.fr

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Automation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received September 14, 2014; final manuscript received March 5, 2015; published online May 19, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Carolyn Seepersad.

J. Mech. Des 137(7), 071413 (Jul 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1572; doi: 10.1115/1.4030048 History: Received September 14, 2014; Revised March 05, 2015; Online May 19, 2015

Today, it is difficult to integrate the use phase optimization of consumer products into eco-design methodologies. Current eco-design approaches are in fact mainly focused on improving the technological performance of products while it has been proven that users behavior plays an important role in the overall environmental performances of products. This paper deals with the need to address the notion of user experience and behavior in the design process of today's low-complexity consumer products in order to improve their environmental performance. The research protocol presented in this paper is a new eco-design approach in six steps that can be used by designers to support eco-design decisions and integrate user behavior parameters into design activities. The first step consists in the identification of critical environmental aspects in use and usage drifts potential of the product. Steps two, three, and four support designers in the analysis of the use phase for the selection of efficient design for sustainable behavior (DfSB) strategies to be implemented on the product. Finally, steps five and six aim to test the selected strategies with product-in-use observations. Life cycle assessment (LCA) approach is used for the evaluation of the environmental benefits of the strategies. To illustrate this work, a case study of a coffee maker is described together with the eco-design solutions chosen for this product. The solutions reflect strategies targeting DfSB.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

General model of the relationships between users, product design, and environmental impacts during use

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Fig. 2

Questionnaire based on the checklist from the eco-design pilot [39] to support designers for the identification of usage drifts

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Fig. 3

Results of the qualitative analysis of possible coffee maker usage drifts

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Fig. 4

Impact of the integration of design intervention strategies for the product on the model of relationships between user variables, context of use, and environmental impacts during use for the coffee maker

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Fig. 5

Instrumentation of DfSB intervention strategies on Delonghi EC 150

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Fig. 6

Schematic diagram of the experimental observations (ES: eco-sensitive group, NES: non-eco-sensitive group, O1: observation 1, O2: observation 2, O3: observation 3, S1: eco-feedback strategy, S2: objective to reach strategy, S3: forcing technology strategy, and S4: written information strategy)

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Fig. 7

Energy consumption (Wh) for making one coffee on a regular coffee machine (O1) compared to an instrumented coffee machine (O2/O3) for two different profiles of users (ES: eco-sensitive group and NES: non-eco-sensitive group)

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Fig. 8

Perception of the different strategies (efficiency, usefulness, and intrusiveness) according to user's profile. (ES: eco-sensitive group, NES: non-eco-sensitive group, S1: eco-feedback strategy, S2: objective to be reached strategy, S3: forcing technology strategy, and S4: written information strategy).

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