Budget Your Carbon Emissions : Interactive visualisation of an individual’s carbon budget

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Climate change is now more of a reality than ever. Carbon budget provides an upper limit on the amount of carbon that can be emitted, for the earth to be within an accepted temperature rise. People are aware that eating less meat, flying less and reducing product consumption would decrease their emission, but they are not sure on how much less. Existing studies show that people are quite willing to accept the concept of carbon budget but there is no tool that visualises this information at an individual level.  This study investigated the features that must be included in a carbon budget tool when visualising an individual’s information to create awareness. An exploratory design approach was used in this study where the design was iteratively developed from user feedback. Four preliminary designs were first developed and discussed in a focus group. With the feedback from the focus group, one design was finalised and redesigned as a carbon budget tool. This was tested in a one-on-one user testing where users had to complete tasks using the tool. The study results provided evidence that personalised information, effective text, labels, interactive features, and clear and simple layout are important features that must be included when designing a tool to visualise an individual’s carbon budget. The participants also rated an increase in awareness of carbon budget concept after using the tool. 

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