Designing for a Sustainable World

9th November 2009

User Vision is calling for improvements in environmentally sustainable design as part of its work for World Usability Day 2009.

The aim of World Usability Day is to increase the public’s awareness of the need to design services and products around human life to ensure they are simple and accessible.

World Usability Day is now in its fifth year, with over 200 events planned across 43 countries on November 12th. This year’s events will focus on our impact on the environment and designing for a sustainable world.

To mark the event, User Vision is running a series of thought-provoking activities at its head office in Edinburgh. The company hopes to create a dialogue about sustainable design while entertaining visitors to its usability testing suite.

In the run up to the day, User Vision will be conducting expert evaluations of four price comparison websites to assess how easy or difficult the user experience journey is for those wanting to switch to or compare green energy options.

On World Usability Day itself, the experiment will be extended and attendees will be offered the chance to test the usability of these websites themselves. This will be done on the internet and on mobile phones using advanced eye tracking technology, to gather real insights from end users.

The findings will be analysed and reported and the final results revealed after World Usability Day.

This year’s activities include:

  • Tackling climate change on mobile devices
    See how easy (or difficult) it is to join a community working to reduce carbon emissions using a mobile phone.
  • Calculating your environmental impact online
    Use online calculators to see how you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint using a range of websites. Let us know which gives you the better online experience.
  • Testing how easy it is to recycle
    Is it really as easy as following instructions? Is it learnable? See how to classify items into the correct recycling bins.
  • Controlling your radiator settings from one device
    Save energy by using a 'Honeywell Zoning Device'. Using this interface, see if you can set a different temperature in each room.
  • Testing the accessibility of carbon offsetting sites
    See live usability tests of disabled users using a range of carbon offsetting websites.
  • Learning about sustainability for disabled users
    Watch a video of a disabled user to find out how they manage their recycling.

Chris Rourke, User Vision’s Managing Director explains why his company is taking part in the event.

He says: WUD is a great way to show and educate our clients about how to see things from a user perspective, and how to walk in the users shoes.

We have tremendous experience in this area, having worked with clients such as Emirates Airline, BBC, DirectGov and the NHS, for the past 10 years.

World Usability Day highlights why it is vital to make the modern world work for us and to ensure that parts of society don’t get left behind by the pace of change or poor design. This year’s theme is particularly exciting as it’s imperative that we find ways to make it easier to protect our environment.

To attend World Usability Day at User Vision, contact usLink opens in a new window or phone 0131 225 0850, and sign upLink opens in a new window to our event.

The cost of a complete site overhaul is roughly thirty times that of incorporating usability testing early on.

Forrester Research Group, Why most web sites fail.