What if we use the "What if" Approach for Eco-Feedback? Designing an Electricity Consumption Analysis for Layman Users
In Proceedings of the Workshop on Visualisation in Environmental Sciences (EnvirVis) (2018) . 8 pages. 2018. à paraître.
Many households share the objective of reducing electricity consumption for either economic or ecological motivations. Eco-feedback technologies support this objective by providing users with a visualization of their consumption. However as pointed out by several studies, users encounter difficulties in finding concrete actions to reduce their consumption. To overcome this limitation, we introduce in this paper Activelec, a system based on the visualization and interaction with user’s behavior rather than raw consumption data. The user’s behavior is modeled as the set of actions modifying the state of appliances over time. A key novelty of our solution is its focus on the What if approach applied to eco-feedback. Users can analyze and experiment scenarios by selecting and modifying their usage of electrical appliances over time and visualize the impact on the consumption. We conduct two user studies that evaluate the usability of Activelec and the relevance of the What if approach for electricity consumption. Our results show that users understand the interaction paradigm and can easily find relevant modifications in their usage of appliances. Moreover participants judge these changes of behavior would require little effort to be adopted. Therefore our work opens new perspectives on using the What if approach in the context of eco-feedback technology.