Exploring Visualization of Sustainability-Related Data in Second-Hand Shopping Application

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för informationsteknologi

Abstract: The demand for transparency within the fashion industry is rising, and retailers are under mounting pressure to become more sustainable. This pressure comes from both consumers becoming more aware of their carbon footprint and from new laws and regulations worldwide. However, the concept green gap indicates that consumers do not behave according to their attitudes. Also, interpreting sustainable related data, such as the amount of emitted CO2e gases, seems to be complex and challenging for consumers to comprehend. This master's thesis aims to get insight into issues regarding how retailers currently gather and communicate sustainability data. Further, this thesis explores how this data can be communicated to consumers through data visualization and user interface design. Thematic analysis is applied to data from interviews with companies and retailers. The results of these interviews point to key issues such as resistance against transparency, lack of an industry standard, and complex product life cycles. A number of prototypes are created and designed to inform users about the environmental impacts of garments and their shopping habits. The results from user tests could not measure behavioral changes. However, the tests pointed to the importance of transparent data, abstraction level in the design of environmental impact graphs, and providing context to data for users to be able to act upon.

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