Accepted paper for CHI’18

Designing the Desirable Smart Home: A Study of Household Experiences and Energy Consumption Impacts

Rikke Hagensby Jensen, Yolande Strengers, Jesper Kjeldskov, Larissa Nicholls, Mikael Skov

Abstract:  Research has shown that desirable designs shape the use and experiences people have when interacting with technology. Nevertheless, how desirability influences energy consumption is often overlooked, particularly in HCI studies evaluating the sustainability benefits of smart home technology. In this paper, we present a qualitative study with 23 Australian households who reflect on their experiences of living with smart home devices. Drawing on Nelson and Stolterman’s concept of desiderata we develop a typology of householders’ desires for the smart home and their energy implications. We structure these desires as three smart home personas: the helper, optimiser and hedonist, which align with desiderata’s three approaches to desire (reason, ethics and aesthetics). We use these insights to discuss how desirability can be used within HCI for steering design of the smart home towards sustainability.

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