Guiding the way to living greener - how psychology helped IA for a new government website
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Guiding the way to living greener - how psychology helped IA for a new government website

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Government websites are breaking away from the dense and impenetrable text-laden internally-focused patterns of old and embracing user-centred design. Even so, they can face big challenges when it ...

Government websites are breaking away from the dense and impenetrable text-laden internally-focused patterns of old and embracing user-centred design. Even so, they can face big challenges when it comes to communicating government content and agendas. How can they push large amounts of information in light, easy-to-digest ways?

This session will demonstrate how personas, information architecture and user interface design tackled these issues in the newly released government website www.livinggreener.gov.au. Find out how applying psychological principles contributed to an approach that treated people holistically, putting not only them but their individual life experience and situations at the centre of their online experience.

It will also show how a regular approach of lining up information into topical categories wasn’t enough; a ‘concierge’ guide-style model was conceived to cater for people of all levels of ‘green’ knowledge to move them on a journey through to action.

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Guiding the way to living greener - how psychology helped IA for a new government website Guiding the way to living greener - how psychology helped IA for a new government website Presentation Transcript

  • Guiding the way to living greener: how psychology helped IA for a new government website Oz IA 2009 | Ben Crothers, PTG Global
  • What do these 3 have in common? Cate Blanchett Leonardo DiCaprio Morgan Freeman
  • What do these 3 have in common? Cate Blanchett Has a solar-powered house Leonardo DiCaprio Lives in an eco-apartment Morgan Freeman Drives a hybrid car
  • The point?
    • It's easy to only think of others having one facet , not many facets
    • We are all a mix of wants, needs, habits and activities
  • Outline
    • The brief for designing livinggreener.gov.au
    • What we didn't do, and why
    • What we did do
    • How psychology principles contributed to the interaction concept, IA and UI
  • About me
    • I am a user experience designer/ information architect
    • I really enjoy online brand/everything 2.0/painting
    • Work : PTG Global as a senior consultant
    • Blog : catchmedia.com.au
    • Twitter : @bencrothers
  • The brief
    • Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) directed PTG to design personas , IA and user interfaces for a new government website: livinggreener.gov.au
    • ‘ A portal ’ linking to lots of other websites
    • Not another ‘government website’
    • Other contractors : research and requirements, concept, visual design
  • The purpose
      • Provide information, assistance and advice for energy efficiency , water efficiency , waste reduction and recycling , and personal transport
      • Provide better ways to access government assistance , and how to apply for assistance
      • Encourage and mobilise people to live more sustainably
  • We could have done this...
    • We could have structured all the information just in terms of topics :
      • Energy
      • Water
      • Waste
      • Transport
  • IA the City Slickers way Barry can pick out the exact right flavor of ice cream to follow any meal. Go ahead. Challenge him. Challenge him? Go on. Franks and beans. Scoop of chocolate, scoop of vanilla. Don't waste my time. Come on. Push me. Grilled? I’m with you. Sea bass. Sautéed. Potatoes au gratin. Asparagus. Rum raisin. WOOF!
  • ...but we didn’t.
    • ‘ Scoop of chocolate, scoop of vanilla ’ wasn’t going to cut it
    • The ‘topic silos’ approach works if all we wanted was a ‘library’ model, but this wouldn't meet the needs to:
      • Not just educate , but motivate and mobilise
      • Provide better ways to access government assistance , and how to apply for that assistance
  • People are not use cases
    • We don’t start and end with one task , e.g. one Google query of ‘save money on energy bills’
    • “ Users are not monolithic or straightforward, but are complex and fragmented in nature” (Mackay et al, Reconfiguring the User )
    Reference : Mackay et al, Reconfiguring the User: Using Rapid Application Development , Social Studies of Science (2000)
  • Designing for real people
    • Use cases are important, and define all the tasks and roles required
    • Workflows are important, and connect the tasks with the interface
    • But the motivations and situations of people doing the tasks can be left behind
    • Design has to account for the whole person
    • Personas to the rescue...
  • Personas - summary Motivations and commitment 1 . Helen 2 . Alison 3 . Ryan 4 . David 5 . Enso ‘ Protecting current and future health and wellbeing’ ‘ Saving energy and water’ ‘ Great energy and water efficiency’ ‘ Living more frugally’ ‘ Saving money on energy and water’ ‘ Living more sustainably’ ‘ Reducing environmental impact’ ‘ Living greener’ ‘ Saving the planet’ ‘ Lowering carbon footprint’
  • Personas – detail
    • Age : 43, home-owner
    • Occupation : Mum, part-time bookshop assistant
    • Attitudes : Protecting current and future health and wellbeing ; a bit of extra cost is worth it
    • Commitment : High; don’t let her see you put recyclable waste in the wrong rubbish bin
    • Motivation : Saving resources; needs to feel her actions and influence on others count
    Helen Clifford COMMITTED GREENIE
  • Personas – detail
    • Age : 52, home owner
    • Occupation : Product Manager
    • Attitudes : Living frugally and cutting the cost of bills; worried about the rising costs of food, petrol, water and rates
    • Commitment : Low; too busy to care that much, and any concern is offset by cynicism
    • Motivation : security and convenience
    Enso Moretti NON-GREEN METRO
  • Designing with motivational psychology
    • We were interested in what the research data revealed about:
      • Participant’s motivations ‏
      • Participant’s attitudes
      • The events that trigger responses to do something about the environment
      • Positive and negative influences on behaviour ‏
    • ...as well the situations they are in (home, shopping, driving, working)
    • Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs helps to illustrate where different motivations spring from
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow Motivations and decisions
    • It also helps us to locate personas and their motivations, and design for them accordingly
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow Designing for people where they are at
  • Why is this important for IA?
    • People are motivated by different factors, and will behave differently
    • Our goal is to change people’s behaviour
    • Content strategy, navigation and UI need to:
      • Connect with them and their motivations
      • Encourage them through the task
      • Not get in the way, or discourage
  • How IA can affect behaviour change Event Motivation for solution Positive influences Negative influences No action Action Attitudes TRIGGERS DECISION TO BE MADE AT WEBSITE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
  • Example 1: Helen and insulation Event: insulation rebate Motivation for solution Positive influences Negative influences No action Action Attitudes: Saving resources for the future; ambassador TRIGGERS POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
    • The government is doing something about the situation
    • Be seen to be doing something significant
    • Use the website to apply for the rebate
    • Commit to another larger step of change?
    • Return to the website to tell others about what she did
  • Example 1: IA considerations Event: insulation rebate Motivation for solution Positive influences Negative influences No action Action Attitudes: Saving resources for the future; ambassador TRIGGERS POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
    • Clear labelling and signals for rebate information throughout the website
    • Clear labelling for applying for the rebate
    • Provide a way for Helen to submit her own story , or discuss with others, as her next step
    • Provide other ways that Helen could ‘ be an ambassador ’ for installing ceiling insulation
  • Example: Enso and insulation Event: insulation rebate Motivation for solution Positive influences Negative influences No action Action Attitudes: Worried about costs; keep it simple; cynical TRIGGERS POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
    • Facts, figures and calculators
    • Smaller-scale changes can save money
    • Use calculators on the website to see how insulation saves money
    • Read about – and commit to – smaller-scale behaviour changes
    • Use the website to apply for the rebate
    • Too expensive
    • Doesn’t trust the government
  • Example: IA considerations Event: insulation rebate Motivation for solution Positive influences Negative influences No action Action Attitudes: Saving resources for the future; ambassador TRIGGERS POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
    • Short, simple facts and chunking of information
    • Calculators (that work)
    • Clear labelling for applying for the rebate
    • Clear labelling for smaller-scale behaviours
    • Provide ways of encouraging bigger steps of change after smaller steps
  • Leading people on a journey
    • Capture people at the point of need...
      • Based on a Google search inquiry
      • Expressed in familiar language
      • Acknowledging effort already made
    • … and guide them through to more activity
      • Similar activities across other topics
      • Larger-scale activities with incentives
  • Interaction model: the ‘concierge’
    • Providing easy immediate access to requested information
    • Putting it in overall context of living ‘greener’
    • Offering alternative actions to take
    • Trading off the ways that we can be influenced and persuaded
    • Focusing on knowing what to do first, then doing it
  • The proposed IA schema Home News Be informed Take action Rebates, grants & loans News stories Campaigns News archive Saving energy Saving water Save energy Save water Home owners Renters and landlords About this portal Contact us Search results Accessibility - Separate news stories - Separate campaign pages
    • Articles
    • Links directory pages
    • Articles
    • Links directory pages
    • Step-by-step guides
    • Hints and tips
    • What you can do today
    • Step-by-step guides
    • Hints and tips
    • What you can do today
    • Rebates, loans and grants by topic
    • Rebates, loans and grants by topic
    Content aggregation page Primary navigation page Secondary navigation page Reducing waste
    • Articles
    • Links directory pages
    Smarter transport
    • Articles
    • Links directory pages
    Reduce waste
    • Step-by-step guides
    • Hints and tips
    • What you can do today
    Travel smarter
    • Step-by-step guides
    • Hints and tips
    • What you can do today
    Schools
    • Rebates, loans and grants by topic
    At home In the garden Shopping Travel
  • The proposed IA schema
    • Alternate home pages , or content aggregation pages, tailored to specific audiences and situations
    • Exposing the most relevant cross-section of content for each audience
    At home In the garden Shopping Travel
  • User interface design
    • Initial low-fidelity concept sketching to field ideas with the client...
    • The refined...
  • User interface design
  • Visual design
  • In closing...
    • Design for people , not just use cases; take a holistic approach
    • Your personas are your partners ; use them to explore the motivations behind behaviours, and cater for those motivations
    • A ‘concierge’ journey-based model can make content more integrated and compelling
  • Thank you
    • Ben Crothers Senior consultant PTG Global
    • Live greener : livinggreener.gov.au
    • Blog : catchmedia.com.au
    • Twitter : @bencrothers
  • Thank you