This was a project for the residential area of the Vondelparc in Utrecht. The aim of this project was to increase energy awareness with the inhabitants and to design something to help them save energy. This was a project of the Co-Design Studio minor of the Hogeschool Utrecht.
Our full report can be read here.
The Vondelparc is a residential area in the center of Utrecht with an ambition to be enegry neutral in 2020. The goal of our project is to stimulate the people of the Vondelparc to save more energy then they are currently saving.
In order to get more familiar with the subject we started our project by doing desk research. To do this we used a variety of techniques, such as assumption mapping, customer journey maps and making characters. By using these techniques we really got into the project and had something to relate to. It was also helpful in determaning what we thought were interesting areas to look into in our in depth research. We also looked into current developments in the energy saving field, and into previous energy saving projects in the Vondelparc in order to understand what is happening in the field of energy saving and how we could develop something new.
Our target group are people who are aware of the environment and are busy with energy saving. These people are living in the residential “the Vondelparc“ close to the centre of Utrecht. The target group has the general knowledge of energy saving, but are not especially busy with it.
Most of the families in The Vondelparc are consisting out of a couple and a child. They work usually from 9 am till 6 pm so they have a busy life. They are living at the Vondelparc and are usually living with a partner and child so they have a family and the work every day from 9 till 6 so they have a busy life.
We created three extreme characters starting with our assumptions and defining them with our research. They are: Money saving Fiola, environmentally active Hetty and the "I don't give a fuck" Arthur.
We used these characters to better understand the motives of our target group. By using these characters during the entire design process we ensured that our design would be effective for our entire user group.
During our targetgroup research we used questionaires to interview the inhabitants of the Vondelparc. We asked the people if they were interested to fill in one questionaire each day for four days. By sending multiple questionaires we could see how people interact with energy on a dayly basis, and how their perception changes during our research. At the end of our questionaire we had gahered a lot of valuable data to analyse, and we continued with in depth interviews on energy saving behaviour.
After gathering the results we started to analyse them. We wrote down the interesting answers on post its to make a good overview. Then we clustered them in different groups to see the connections and overlaying topics. Then we came to some insights that could be proven by quotes out of the research We saw that people save energy because it is aspected. They say that you have tot take care of the environment. And not because they think they need to. But because they think everybody should do it, it is a standard in society.
To kick start our ideation phase we started by doing an individual idea generation. We wrote down our insights and used our three characters in order to get the idea’s flowing. By sketching out your idea’s you can quickly think of new ones, and by looking at the sketches of each other you can come up with a lot of cool idea’s. We all filled up a paper with sketches of idea’s before ending the session and discussing the idea’s we had. We all explained our idea’s to each other after which we put stickers on the idea’s we thought were the best. In this way we could easily see which idea’s we liked the most, and which ones we did not like.