Data-viz of computer energy consumption

household info-profilerdane watkins

Electric Footprint Profiler

The profiler is a dynamic way for a householder to create an info graphic that visually illustrates their household's unique qualities. The profiler accumulates the users' answers and incorporates the replies into an iconic profile that can be used to represent the household and visually descibe the household's attributes, such as number of residents, what the garden looks like, energy saving improvements etc.

The profiler is a fun way for a user to describe their household and a great way to capture data. It starts with a non-sensical question "If your house were a shoe what type of shoe would it be?". This question draws the viewer into what seems more like a game than a survey, relaxing the viewer and making them more attentive. The first question is a lure to encourage the user to take part in the survey. As the profiler progresses the questions become more useful to the data collector such as "How many people live in your home?" which enables better household demographic analysis.

This survey is extremely easy to use as you can see from the feedback below. The drawings make the questions easier to understand and the scripting creates a smooth workflow that enhances the user's experience.

The profiler above is part of Electric Footprint a set data visualisation applications and analysis tools that give the user dynamic feedback and greater understanding on their household electricity consumption.

Electric Footprint includes the profiler, daily charts of electricity use, monthly graphs of electricity and a league table that enables the user to compare their electricity use against their neighbour.

You can also see a dynamic info graphic that illustrates the results of this survey.

previous: Survey Results next: Monthly Charts

Feedback on the profiler

Sandra Manson said: August 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm
I think this is a easy way of gathering data, it is a bit of fun rather than a intrusive questionnaire, so you dont mind answering
Ed Ellis said: August 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm
I live in a flat – what do I put for the garden bit?
Davina said: August 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm
Good way of finding out information! Great questionnaire!
leccysparkbug said: August 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm
Fun to use
Roz Hall said: August 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm
Took ages to decide what sort of shoe our house is, as it is home to two very different shoe collections!
Other than that this was easy, but it seems to me like some options are missing – I wanted to be able to say that we use water butts, recycle everything possible including water, don’t use pesticides or eat food that’s dubious in terms of its production or flown etc etc., so it’s short and effective but might not give a balanced view as I think many small car users who are environmentally informed may try to balance out their footprint through other means in ways that might not be accounted for in this survey?
I am also left wondering how the info will be used or if at some point any change in users profiles will be measured? – i.e. could it do with a contextualising para? (Unless there is one that I have missed by being distracted by lovely pictures of shoes!)
If it is meant as initial way of getting very basic profile then it works very well.
James said: August 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm
Love it! A great improvement on all those stuffy questionnaires though I have the same problem as Ed living in a flat and I couldn’t really find the right kind of shoe – could have done with a Chelsea Boot option.
Sue Mackinnon said: August 18, 2010 at 10:49 am
Really enjoyed doing this as a fun way to draw people in. Spent ages deciding what kind of shoe I was but loved the idea. The other place I was a bit stuck was the garden as mine is full of flowers but also has some weeds – or is a bit overgrown where I’ve let it go wild for environmental purposes but I also have multi surfaces.
Wanted also to go further on the profile and have the option to put that I recycled or bought local British and organic food.
Bristol Hackspace said: April 1, 2011 at 10:40 am
[...] the decisions made by people in the locality and the wider community. The archetypal project is the Electric Footprint project led by Dane which used energy monitors to help residents understand how electricity was being used [...]