Sparking the Repair “Can-Do” Attitude: Enhancing Users’ Willingness to Repair through Design Support in Fault Diagnostics
Renske van den Berge, Lise Magnier, Ruth Mugge


Current production and consumption patterns of consumer electronics have a negative impact on our environment. Designers can contribute to changing these patterns with more sustainable product design. Prolonging product lifetimes can have a positive impact, for which repair is a promising solution. However, the fact that a product can be physically repaired does not mean that users will act accordingly. Users generally have a low ability to repair consumer electronics. We suggest that design interventions may increase users’ can-do repair mentality, leading to a higher intention to repair. In three experiments, we tested the effect of a design intervention, namely the presence of a fault indication, on users’ willingness to repair. Our results showed a significantly higher willingness to repair in the presence of a fault indication, which is explained by a higher level of perceived self-efficacy (i.e., a can-do attitude). However, this result only holds true for products that are relatively less likely to be professionally repaired, such as coffee makers and (handstick cordless) vacuum cleaners, and not for washing machines, which are more likely to be professionally repaired. We end with practical design implications, limitations, and future research directions.

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