World Usability Day 2016 - Sustainable [Green] UX Design and Virtual Reality
We get messages from HR, and tag lines on emails to “Save a Tree” and “Refrain from Printing.” Our office kitchens and break rooms have the requisite receptacles to separate waste into recycling categories. There are bright blue plastic paper bins waiting to gobble up printed paper to recycle and renew into a pristine state. Cities are populated with the ever present Prius and the new “affordable” Tesla and the US Federal Government just this month, designated 48 electric vehicle charging corridors along 25,000 miles of major US highways. And yet global warming marches on.
We believe cliches like books on PDF are more environmentally friendly, but are they?
We are familiar with the traditional green efforts that study human behavior of time and process to measure renewable effectiveness as well as recycling and organics programs. But these traditional means produce limited success in creating emotionally connected, long-term environmentally friendly behaviors.
Currently, most of us design for technology like web, mobile and tablet devices that produce short brain waves causing nothing more than “tech addiction” with little to no empathetic results. This is not so with Virtual Reality (VR) or the “Empathy Machine.” VR creates long, behavioral change brain waves by allowing the user to step inside a story, enabling them to connect via an emotional experience.
As UX and Product Designers, we have the opportunity to design products and services that both improve user experience and increase the CONVENIENCE of “Environmentally friendly behaviors.” Designing for VR is a means to impactfully change how we behave, feel and think and to shift the tide in creating positive, sustaining environmental changes for our planet.
We are also honored to welcome Dr. Pete Markiewicz, Co-Founder/CTO of IndieSpace, author of many books, Co-Chair of W3.org Sustainable Design Community, and who’s passion and specialization is in "sustainable," "evergreen," or "future-friendly"web design and programming. Dr. Markiewicz will dispell some of our current myths of green behavior in our digital world as well as why VR is important to sustainability and how to design for this complex platform.