Forming The Concept Of Energy Saving Emily

Domain of Exploration

Originally beginning as a team known as the Negative Nancies, myself and three others explored the unique and interesting domain of Change Through Discomfort. This particular domain explores invoking behavioural change to a user through discomforting and annoying techniques. After conducting research and user testing, the team came up with the idea of creating a device that encourages users to save energy within the home.

Facing Challenges

The concept of Energy Saving Emily was decided upon by the team, a playful and annoying device that alerts the user of their unnecessary energy usage through annoying tactics in order to get the user to change and improve their behaviours. Upon learning of the impacts of COVID-19 on the course, the team decided that it would be most convenient for each team member to develop their own take of Emily.

The 'Ideal' Concept

The following describes how Emily would be portrayed, were I to have unlimited access to resources and time.

Energy Saving Emily is a device situated within a household that monitors the energy usage within the home. Emily is able to detect when the aircon is on unnecessarily, when the lights are being used innefficently, and when water is being wasted around the house. When Emily recognises such unnecessary usage, she will light up with flashing colours, produce annoying sounds, and communicate and speak to the user to alert them of their inefficient energy activities. This annoyance of lights and sounds should induce discomfort to the user, and prompt them to fix the issues that are present. Should the user not respond to Emily's slight annoyance after a period of time, the device will be able to control those aspects, such as being able to turn off the lights for a period of time, or limit AC or water access and taunt the user with cheeky and somewhat creepy sounds of laughing, providing further discomfort to the user, and making them wish that they had responded to Emily's initial cries for help.

Upon recognising improved behaviour, Emily will provide words of encouragement and provide the user with a summary of how much energy they have consumed as well as their savings in money. This will educate the user of their improved behaviour, leaving the user feeling fantastic about having made a difference to their living and making a small impact in bettering the environment around them.

1. Emily introducing herself.

2. Emily monitoring the home.

3. Emily taking control.

4. Emily responding to improved behaviour.