Understanding the Attributes of Product Intervention for the Promotion of Pro-Environmental Behavior: A Framework and Its Effect on Immediate User Reactions
Minjung Sohn, Tek-Jin Nam


Product design has become increasingly influential in changing user behaviors in order to reduce resource consumption. Among various contexts, users waste resources which they do not pay for. Influencing users’ immediate behavior can be an effective strategy for sustainable design. In this perspective, we aimed to investigate the method of designing products to induce users’ immediate reaction, especially to understand the design attributes of product intervention. Through analytic interviews regarding 40 representative intervention concepts, we identified four attributes of cognitive intervention and three attributes of physical intervention. We then created a framework that included these two types of intervention, their attributes, and scales thereof. Design workshops using the suggested framework revealed its usefulness in the concept development process for the determination of design direction and the enhancement of communication among designers, leading to an increase in ideas. An online user survey verified that the seven design attributes were critical elements for inducing users’ immediate reactions in a water-use context. We expect that the intervention framework can be used as a basis for knowledge in the field of design for sustainable behavior.

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