Google tells me it doesn't. But I'm convinced that there have to be
certain principles that interaction designers can follow that are
more environmentally friendly than others. I work at a product design
company filled with designers looking to develop products that are
less damaging and more environmentally friendly, but for the most
part, interaction designers are stuck on the sidelines developing
interfaces and screens that don't have any of the material or
manufacturing choices of industrial designers. This has been
frustrating-- I hate feeling like I'm rearranging deck chairs on the
Obviously, the most environmentally friendly product we can create is
no product at all, and often interaction design is better at this
than industrial design when we are able to turn a product into a
service. I'm going to go ahead and make a sweeping generalization
that interaction design is more sustainable than other forms of
design, but I refuse to believe that our work is done and we simply
need to keep doing what we're doing. Shouldn't user-centered design
take into account the user benefits of sustainable design?
Do we resist putting "print" buttons on websites? Do we aim for
smaller applications because down the road this means less storage
devices and less electricity used to transport all those bytes?
Should our sustainable concerns focus on social issues, like the
social benefits of community software, universal information access,
and self-empowerment? Should we be building power consumption meters
into every product's interface?
What are the best practices of sustainable interaction design?