User-efficient design: Reducing the environmental impact of user behaviour through the design of products

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis presents why a new user‐centred design process for eco‐design would be beneficial and demonstrates how this could be done. The research produces a methodology for collecting and measuring behaviour information and a framework for assessing its impact. It explores the role of and effective introduction of information in the design process and finally concludes with the proposed design approach for reducing the environmental impact of products during their use.Utilising a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, energy models, observational studies, laboratory design experiments, participation research, product prototyping and industrial consultation,acomprehensivepictureofdesigningforenergy‐efficientuserbehaviourisformed.It illustrates how behaviour information can be recorded and quantified, assessing the division between a product’s intrinsic, technology‐based, energy efficiencies and those that are deemed user‐related.Finally, in conclusion this information is then used in a new design approach which proposes a framework for the effective and time - efficient design of products, producing a prototype design which achieves an ongoing 43% energy saving in user related losses.
Date of Award1 May 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorElies Dekoninck (Supervisor)


  • design study
  • behaviour
  • environmental impact
  • design

Cite this