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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

6. User Activity Matters: An Activity Theory Informed Design Toolkit for Sustainable Behavior Design

Authors : Wanjun Chu, Wiktoria Glad, Renee Wever

Published in: EcoDesign and Sustainability II

Publisher: Springer Singapore

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Abstract

Recent developments in eco-design have shown a growing interest in incorporating user perspectives in sustainable product and service design. However, users’ needs and behavior are not static, but under a dynamic transition process. Design purely informed by user needs thus may lead to environmental and social sustainability issues. In this paper, we approach this sustainable design challenge from an activity theoretical perspective. First, we conducted a literature review on the use of activity theory (AT) in sustainable design-related studies. Based on the literature insights, we translated the abstract AT concepts into more descriptive and practical design implications. Following that, we developed an activity-centered design (ACD) toolkit prototype to support design practitioners in integrating users’ dynamic activities with specific sustainable design goals in the early-stage design ideation process. Finally, we evaluated the practical use of the toolkit with both design experts and participants without a design background in a case study. Results indicated that the ACD toolkit prototype allowed participants to engage with complex sustainability issues while taking multiple aspects of users’ activity into account. It also offered an interactive way for designers to better develop early-stage design ideas to solve sustainability-related problems from a product and service design perspective.

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Metadata
Title
User Activity Matters: An Activity Theory Informed Design Toolkit for Sustainable Behavior Design
Authors
Wanjun Chu
Wiktoria Glad
Renee Wever
Copyright Year
2021
Publisher
Springer Singapore
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-6775-9_6