Addressing sustainability issues through user-centred design
Exploring computing solutions to a range of sustainability issues.
As part of their course, students in our School of Computer Science and Informatics are given the opportunity to choose a topic related to a societal issue and explore a range of computing solutions to potentially address the issue. As climate change and sustainability are large concerns for many students, this module has attracted many proposals from students aimed at addressing these issues.
Projects have focused on topics including community tree planting, reporting wildfires in woodlands, increasing numbers of pollinators, reducing fly tipping, recycling school clothing and supporting foodbanks. Each of the solutions students propose are prototyped and tested utilising a user-centred design approach, focusing on the end users and their needs in each stage of the design process.
For students in computer science, it has always been a challenge to see the applications and impacts of software engineering in the real world. This module provides real-world, first-hand experience to students of how they can use their skills to tackle societal issues.
Student feedback has reflected this, with one student commenting: "I had not realised what important roles computer scientists have in addressing societal issues." Another student commented: "I learned some great skills in this module such as observing people, talking and listening to people, analysing people’s behaviour when they interact with computers and importantly how to build computing tools with people and for people."
Read our environmental policies to learn how we embed sustainability across our operations.