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research-article

Investigating User Emotional Responses To Eco-Feedback Designs

[+] Author and Article Information
Qifang Bao

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-446, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
qfbao@mit.edu

Edward Burnell

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-446, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
eburn@mit.edu

Ann Hughes

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
amhughes@mit.edu

Maria Yang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-449B, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
mcyang@mit.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042007 History: Received June 30, 2018; Revised November 05, 2018

Abstract

Emotional responses to a product can be critical in influencing how the product will be used. This study explores the emotions that arise from users' interaction with eco-feedback products, and investigates links between emotions and users' resource conservation behaviors. In-lab experiments were conducted with 68 participants of varying backgrounds. Each participant was shown sketches of four conceptual designs of eco-feedback products and reported how they would feel and behave in different scenarios using the products. Two styles of eco-feedback design, quantitative and figurative, were compared to each other and were compared to neutral designs which had little or no feedback information. Results showed that taking resource conservation actions such as turning off lights was highly correlated with negative emotions towards wasting resources, such as guilt, upset, embarrassment and annoyance. Users' evaluations of aesthetics, usefulness and overall quality of eco-feedback products, however, were highly correlated with positive emotions towards resource conservation, described as satisfied, proud, interested and joyful. Figurative designs were observed to evoke much stronger emotions among younger participants than older ones. Ultimately, we hope our findings are useful to the designers of eco-feedback products.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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