UX Research Plan – Climate Change Actions for Everyday People

Author & Stakeholders

Author: Julia Taylor, UX Designer

Stakeholders: Julia Taylor, owner

Background

As a nature lover and concerned citizen, I’ve been thinking and worrying a lot about climate change lately. The US has recently elected a new president who has denied the existence of climate change and is a big supporter of fossil fuels. Combined with my personal motive of having a new baby nephew, I’m seriously afraid for the future of our planet and the generations to come. I truly believe that climate change will affect every person in every country if we continue to act slowly (or not at all).

Climate change is not new news, and it’s something that’s been on my radar for several years. However, other than trying to make environmentally sound decisions in my personal life (recycling, driving less, etc), I’ve pretty much felt powerless to make a real difference. But now more than ever, I feel a strong desire to do something…I just don’t know exactly what to do.

I think that a lot of people feel similar to the way I do. They feel helpless and frustrated, but as an individual don’t know how to make an impact. I’d like to research this common problem and understand what people are feeling, how educated they are on climate change, and if they are doing anything they feel is making a difference.

Research Questions

  1. Tell me your thoughts on climate change.
  2. What makes you believe climate change is real?
  3. What are you biggest worries regarding climate change?
  4. In the grand scheme of world issues, where does climate change rank for you? If it isn’t #1, what is?
  5. What are you doing personally to combat climate change?
  6. Have you done any research on what additional actions you could take to combat climate change? Have you implemented any of these actions in your life?
  7. What are your biggest frustrations regarding climate change?

Methodology

Surveys: Ask the above questions in a Typeform survey. Questions should be open-ended so answers provide more insight. 

Interviews: Ask the above questions in person or on the phone/Skype. Questions should be open-ended so answers provide more insight.

Contextual Inquiries: Ask participants to research climate change actions they can take (via the internet) while you observe. Ask questions about challenges, frustrations, obstacles.

Life Observation: Follow individual participants around for a day to observe what actions they might already be taking. This is important because there might be differences between what they say (in surveys/interviews) and what they actually do. For example, I say I recycle, but I don’t recycle everything because my community doesn’t recycle certain things (plastics 3-7, tub and wide-mouthed containers, etc). Also, occasionally I get lazy and throw something away that I don’t feel like cleaning first (i.e. moldy spaghetti sauce in a recyclable jar).

Participants

Ideal Participants:

  • Ages 30-50
  • Expressed a concern for climate change (not deniers)
  • Full-time professionals
  • Smartphone users

Schedule

  1. Week 1: Study recruiting begins
  2. Week 2: Surveys conducted
  3. Week 3: Interviews Conducted
  4. Week 4: Contextual inquiries conducted
  5. Week 5: Life Observations conducted (may be combined with Contextual Inquiries)
  6. Week 6: Study Results Delivered