Creative workshop: brainstorming on how to engage people in saving energy at home using the collaborative platform VivaCité

How to give residents better access to their energy consumption data? How should they interpret  those, and above all, what will they do with it once they have better insight in their energy consumption? Engaging people in using the VivaCité tool, a collaborative platform for managing data for housing (electricity, heating, gas and water), is as challenging as setting up the tool itself. That’s why a second creative workshop was organized to improve VivaCité and its interfaces on February 15th, 2017. Ideas and insights coming out of the workshop are valuable to anyone creating or pushing a multi user data platform.

Previously, a “DataViz café” took place on 2017, January 31st where the focus was on improving user experience: what visualization of our consumption works best? Histograms, pie charts and other curves… The need to have a broad vision and to be able to modulate the access to consumption data, as well as the dynamic aspect of the interface, had been unanimous conclusions.

Capture d’écran 2017-04-18 à 09.15.54During this second session, the objective was to consider scenarios for different consumer profiles, in order to support them in the observation, the understanding and the management of their energy consumption. Louise, an engineer’s intern at the City of Grenoble, participated: “This workshop was a good session of sharing and brainstorming between participants”. Students, PhD students and technies have imagined usage scenarios, alongside Chella Denizot from GEG, Bruno Morel from ATOS Worldgrid and Geneviève Goubel from ALEC (local energy and climate agency of Grenoble Metropolitan area).

Each working group imagined a scenario and presented it succinctly to the other participants at the end of the workshop. Here is the one envisaged by Louise’s group:

  • I notice : The user creates his account and sets his visible data. By logging in, he has access to a certain number of daily, monthly and annual consumption data (with history, and visual elements to compare to other VivaCité users).
  • I understand : To help him analyze his data, the user can contact an expert by phone, by email or by chat. He can also discuss via a forum with the other users of the platform. The interface gives him some energy and monetary allowances, and allows him to simulate a typical situation.
  • I act : This step is presented in the form of a game. The interface allows the user to launch or to take part in collective and individual challenges, to set reducing consumption targets, and propose other missions to change his habits. Participants earn points and can choose among gifts available through partnerships with local stakeholders.

All teams have exploited this idea of games and challenges to stimulate the user and to motivate him to change the way he consumes.

The third VivaCité creativity workshop will take place at the Coop Infolab, in April. Graphical representations of fluid consumption data will be explored.

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