Understanding and Mitigating the Effects of Device and Cloud Service Design Decisions on the Environmental Footprint of Digital Infrastructure

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Abstract

Interactive devices and the services they support are reliant on the cloud and the digital infrastructure supporting it. The environmental impacts of this infrastructure are substantial—and for particular services the infrastructure can account for up to 85% of the total impact. In this paper, we apply the principles of Sustainable Interaction Design to cloud services use of the digital infrastructure. We perform a critical analysis of current design practice with regard to interactive services, which we identify as the cornucopian paradigm. We show how user-centered design principles induce environmental impacts in different ways, and combine with technical and business drivers to drive growth of the infrastructure through a reinforcing feedback cycle. We then create a design rubric, substantially extending that of Blevis [6], to cover impacts of the digital infrastructure. In doing so, we engage in design criticism, identifying examples (both actual and potential) of good and bad practice. We then extend this rubric beyond an ecoefficiency paradigm to consider deeper and more radical perspectives on sustainability, and finish with future directions for exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 34th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'16)
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages1324-1337
Number of pages14
VolumeMay 2016
ISBN (Print)9781450333627
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016
Event34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016: chi4good - San Jose, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016
Conference number: 34
https://chi2016.acm.org/wp/

Conference

Conference34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016
Abbreviated titleCHI 2016
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period7/05/1612/05/16
OtherFor those who are finding out about CHI – pronounced kai – for the first time, CHI is a place to see, discuss and learn about the future of how people interact with technology. At any minute you might experience a new gesture interface for tablets, learn how developing countries use mobile phones for maternal health, play soccer against someone 3000 miles away, or debate the future of online education. You’ll meet with top researchers from universities, corporations and startups from across the world, as well as the brightest student scientists, designers, and researchers. It’s a place to find your community, to talk about your toughest problems, and to find your next job.
Internet address

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Interaction Design
  • Green Computing
  • Cloud Computing
  • Sustainable HCI

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