Proceedings of ICT for Sustainability 2016

Designing for sustainability: Breakthrough or suboptimisation?

Daniel Pargman, Edvard Ahlsén, Cecilia Engelbert
Corresponding Author
Daniel Pargman
Available Online August 2016.
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Sustainability, suboptimisation, OLED, energy consumption, mobile devices, agency, systems thinking, Sustainable HCI
Technological developments in screen technologies pitches the thinner, brighter and energy-stingy OLED screen as a possible replacement for today's television, computer and smartphone LCD screens. An OLED screen does not consume any energy at all when it displays the color black, but the potentially large energy savings can unfortunately evaporate and instead turn to losses when white is displayed. There is thus a mismatch between on the one hand the energy profiles of OLED screens and on the other hand user habits and current webpage design practices. This example thus raises important questions about system boundaries and about how to evaluate sustainable (or "sustainable") technologies. We conducted a pilot study of user acceptance of alternative, OLED-adapted color schemes for webpages. We briefly discuss the results of the study, but primarily use it as a starting point for discussing the underlying questions of where, or indeed even if it makes sense to work towards realising the OLED screens' potential for energy savings. Moving from LED to OLED screens is not only a matter of choosing between competing screen technologies, but would rather have implications for hardware and software design as well as for the practices of web designers, end users and content providers.
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ICT for Sustainability 2016
Part of series
Advances in Computer Science Research
Publication Date
August 2016
DOI to use a DOI?
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license.

Cite this article

AU  - Daniel Pargman
AU  - Edvard Ahlsén
AU  - Cecilia Engelbert
PY  - 2016/08
DA  - 2016/08
TI  - Designing for sustainability: Breakthrough or suboptimisation?
BT  - ICT for Sustainability 2016
PB  - Atlantis Press
SN  - 2352-538X
UR  -
DO  -
ID  - Pargman2016/08
ER  -