HARNESSING THE POWER OF PEOPLE AND PLACES : A Comparative Evaluation of University Energy Dashboard Interface Designs
Energy dashboards are new and emerging environmental tools, but little research has been done to evaluate user-fit between them and their intended audience. The aim of this project is to evaluate how effectively two distinct energy dashboards promote understanding of energy-use patterns among university students. The dashboard treatments consist of the Alerton Energy Dashboard (employed by the Human Ecology Building) and the Lucid Dashboard (employed by Cornell University campus buildings). This between-subjects, comparative-case study has two objectives. First, to assess how effectively users retrieve information from each energy dashboard and to identify usability issues and provide recommendations for improving the dashboard’s content, aesthetics, navigation and utility. Second, to understand how the dashboards build upon participants’ ‘sustainable knowledge’. A total of sixteen graduate and undergraduate student volunteers were recruited and randomly assigned to one of the two dashboard treatments. A total of six outcome measures were collected. Specifically, four quantitative outcome measures were gathered: time, mouse clicks, successfully vs. unsuccessfully completed tasks and number of questions left unanswered. Additionally, two qualitative outcome measures were also collected: usability issues and the dashboard’s ability to build on existing ‘sustainable knowledge’. Future research should measure the dashboard’s influence on environmental attitudes and pro-environmental behavior.
Design; architecture; Climate change
Elliott, John Jack R.
Field, David James
Design & Environmental Analy
MA of Design & Environmental Analy
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis