Design for Behaviour Change









What a designer can change: a proposal for a categorisation of artefact-related aspects 

Anneli Selvefors, Helena Strömberg, Sara Renström

Chalmers University of Technology (3)

Keywords: Design for Sustainable Behaviour; Behaviour change; Interaction Design; Design for Sustainability


This paper proposes a categorisation of artefact-related aspects that in different ways set people’s preconditions for acting with technology. The categorisation can serve as a starting point for discussing which aspects are relevant to consider from a Design for Sustainable Behaviour perspective. The categorisation sorts these aspects into different layers: from the over-arching layer of enabled activity, through artefact type(s), operative functions, interactive functions, and finally communicative functions. Using examples from research studies, and a selection of theory and methods, we argue for an increased focus on all artefact- related aspects. Moreover, it is essential to move between layers to ensure a consistent design that in every layer provides preconditions for sustainable behaviour. The paper also discusses benefits of redesigning the artefacts people use in their everyday activities, instead of designing artefacts that stimulate new types of conservation activities.

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Selvefors, A., Strömberg, H., Renström, S. (2016). What a designer can change: a proposal for a categorisation of artefact-related aspects. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

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