Or, for that matter, with creating software?
These are two, common questions I get and they’re important ones–that has several answers:
• First, one of the most important design strategies for sustainability is to make things useful, usable, clear, and meaningful. UX people are already oriented to doing this, though in the book we describe some elements (like Meaning) that are fairly new to most. As such, UX folks are already increasing sustainability because when we do our jobs correctly, we meet peoples’ needs without requiring more and more solutions to be developed.
• Next, even though many of us are typically only responsible for the software side of the experience, these are still completely intertwined with devices since all software has to run through some kind of physical, sensorial interface. This means that in order to design a complete solution, we need to get involved or (at least) consider the physical side as well. This gives us an opening to champion sustainability design strategies to our peers working in products and other physical device.
• In addition, we often need to make our case to peers, customers, and bosses in their language and to their issues. Understanding sustainability across the domains or social, environmental, and financial impacts helps us make our case more convincingly. It also requires us to understand a broader perspective than only the things we happen to touch and it allows us, ultimately, to better coordinate with our peers in delivering more successful, enjoyable solutions as well a more sustainable ones.
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