Right from the beginning, usability took a central role in how humans interact with technology. Jakob Nielsen described as a guru of usability defines it as ‘a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use’. Carroll (2001) described it as ‘understanding and creating software and other technology that people will want to use, will be able to use and will find effective when used‘. As this project proposes to bring ‘invisible environmental data’ to light in the physical world, we are seeing this physical data interface as extending the concept of usability to incorporate ‘greenability’. By greenability, we mean the affordance of green usage and green habits amongst people. Indeed, good usability ensures that we can use technology effectively… that it can be learned quickly, is easy to operate, can be remembered and is satisfying. Advancing this thinking, we need to think green and design interfaces that afford green interaction and awareness. Our data physicalisation project is exploring new innovative ways of communicating the ideas of sustainability. Through it’s design we want to support and motivate new green behaviours amongst the everyday person.
Thank you to everyone that worked on the DAPTEC Flat Holm project and to all the kids from Mount Stuart primary school, Cardiff that helped us test the exhibit.