ECIS 2020 Research Papers


Smart home energy management systems (SHEMS) enable households to play an active role in the ongoing energy transition. We conceptualize sensory user experience and analyze what sensory experience in relation to SHEMS consists of. Sensory user experience is critical in the design and adoption of ubiquitous home technologies. Yet, it has been poorly studied in Information Systems (IS) research. Sensory ethnographic approach was applied in the framework of value-sensitive design in the study of 21 families. The findings suggest sensory user experience intermingled with energy consumption in homes consists of intertwined sensory and affective factors Interviewees’ quotations and mental maps show home is a social and sensory place and sensory user experience is a social, negotiated, shared experience. Different parts of home impose different requirements for sensory user experience, and sensations of warmth, view, scents, sounds and light are relevant in it. The comfort of the nucleus of home is not to be compromised, yet there are opportunities for energy management. When sensory experience in home is understood, SHEMS may be designed and used to improve sensory experience. The paper also contributes to the methodological discussion on sensory ethnography in value-sensitive design and energy technology research.



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