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Escaping unsustainable digital interactions: toward 'more meaningful' and 'moderate' online experiences

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
Article number102853
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Volume165
Number of pages15
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date22/05/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Growing and even excessive use of digital technology has unquestionably fuelled demand for digital devices and online services leading to a wide range of societal and environmental impacts. In sustainability terms, ICT as a whole is estimated to produce up to nearly 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As presumed responsible innovators, the HCI community should now consider design strategies that will reduce use and demand for digital technology for the good of both its users and the planet—strategies perhaps even seen as retrogressive in an era where digital technology is constantly implicated in innovation and economic growth. Prior work has noted the potential to design “more moderate” interactions for sustainability, simultaneously addressing negative societal impacts on users’ wellbeing, relationships, productivity at work, and privacy. In this paper, we explore how we may design intentionally moderate digital interactions that retain our participants’ “more meaningful” experiences. We report on the outcomes of two design workshops to uncover experiences of meaningful device and service use, to inform practical designs for ‘moderate and meaningful’ interaction. From this, we offer design recommendations that aim to address the multiple negative impacts that digital technology can create, and discuss the possible barriers to these designs