Climate-influenced UX: how tech needs to evolve | by Meltem Naz Kaso Coskun | Jan, 2024


You don’t need to build stress-reducing tech wearables like Apollo Neuro and Muse or develop a mindfulness app to consider how individuals experience the mental effects of climate change. Whether it’s for dating or banking, tech products should craft experiences that improve mental wellness in the face of environmental challenges.

An abstract painting that uses the colors of blue, ping, yellow and orange.
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

The environmental impact of tech is well-explored already. Trusted sources such as this one help us understand in practical terms how an exponentially growing digital universe — consisting of 75 million servers, 34 billion user terminals, and 1.5 billion communication networks as of 2023 — comes at a real environmental cost. Digital pollution creates an ecological impact that includes but is not limited to further greenhouse gas emissions and overuse of water resources.

But it seems like we are not discussing enough, and not in concrete terms, the opposite: How does the environment — marked with the effects of global warming and climate change such as extreme temperatures — impact the “tech” experiences of people?

That’s why, with this article, I’m delving into how climate change — or better said, the mental experiences that this environmental phenomenon triggers in people — sets the tone for how people interact with technology.

Climate change and mental health

Impacts of climate change on human health is shown in a full circle
Climate effects on health: Visualisation by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Medical research highlights that individuals can experience changes in mental health and well-being even without facing life-threatening situations directly linked to climate change, such as floods or hurricanes. Long before people are displaced, even as they go through a normal day, they experience notable burdens.

For instance, increased temperatures are associated with increased rates of aggression, violent suicides, and both physical and psychological exhaustion. Heatwaves correlate with mood disorders, anxiety disorders…


Source link

2023. All Rights Reserved.