Promoting sustainability through behavior change: A review

Zimmerman, John
Erbuğ, Çiğdem
Over the last decade, the design research community has become increasingly interested in promoting more sustainable behaviors through the design of new products and services. We conducted a literature review to help advance this growing research area. The review characterizes the current state by identifying conceptual studies that proposed strategies, frameworks, toolkits, and guidelines for behavior change. It also documents empirical studies that investigate opportunities for behavior change by proposing novel artifacts that promote sustainable behaviors and evaluations of these artifacts through field studies. Our review identifies gaps including a lack of detail on how designers select target behaviors, users, and opportunities; research on topics other than electricity consumption and the domestic context; research that integrates behavior change strategies other than feedback; and longitudinal evaluations that demonstrate a lasting behavior change. Based on these gaps, we offer some priorities for future research.


An evaluation of haptic feedback modelling during industrial design practice
Evans, M; Şener Pedgley, Bahar; WALLACE, D; CHESHIRE, David (Elsevier BV, 2005-09-01)
Whilst new technologies in designing and rapid prototyping offer demonstrable benefits, their use can remove the potential for the designer to actively engage in the definition of form through tactile interaction with a physical material (as when working with foam or clay). This paper investigates the use of a haptic feedback device to facilitate interaction with virtual geometry and provide the designer with tactile cues during product modelling. The study concludes that limitations in the modelling capabi...
A semantic discontinuity detection (SDD) method for comparing designers' product expressions with users' product impressions
Khalaj, Javad; Pedgley, Owaın Francıs (Elsevier BV, 2019-05-01)
Designers exert substantial effort to define an intended user experience (UX) for a product, service or system. However, discontinuities can arise when the actual UX of users differs from the design intent. This paper presents a `Semantic Discontinuity Detection' (SDD) method capable of locating discontinuities between (i) realized product semantics, based on users' initial visual impression of a product, and (ii) intended product semantics, based on the originating designer's visual product expression. The...
User evaluation of HCI concepts for defining product form
Şener Pedgley, Bahar (Elsevier BV, 2008-01-01)
A complaint amongst industrial designers is that the human-computer interaction (HCI) of computer-aided design (CAD) systems does not fit their needs for defining product form. This paper disseminates research to identify and address the shortfalls. A strengths and weaknesses analysis of three modelling media (foam, CAD, FreeForm((R))) is reported and used to influence the design of 11 novel HCI concepts for form creation. Expert users are found to prefer 'virtual workshop' and 'intelligent environment' con...
Exploring and communicating user diversity to inform the design of products promoting sustainable behaviors
Coşkun, Aykut; Erbuğ, Çiğdem; Department of Industrial Design (2015)
Promoting sustainable behavior through design has become an important and a relevant research area for the design community. As very few designers really know and very few design schools teach how to do this, any research in this field would provide guidance. Aimed at such guidance, this thesis proposes a method for exploring and communicating the diversity in users’ orientations towards sustainable behaviors, an important but ignored topic for behavior change and sustainability. This method involves determ...
Designing transitions towards integration: entrepreneurial capacity development for Syrians in Turkey
Süngü, Azra Tuğç; Kaygan, Harun; Department of Industrial Design (2019)
The growing intersection of design with systems science and social innovation gave way to new directions to the design discipline today, making it an actor in guiding and leveraging transitions for more sustainable futures. One of the critical transitions today is migration, for which Turkey has been a major scene. This shift of populations required mobilization of actors and resources at a systemic level, for the integration of Syrians. This thesis investigates entrepreneurship as a strategic approach towa...
Citation Formats
A. COŞKUN, J. Zimmerman, and Ç. Erbuğ, “Promoting sustainability through behavior change: A review,” DESIGN STUDIES, pp. 183–204, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: