A gamification framework for customer engagement and sustainable water usage promotion.

Luca Galli, Piero Fraternali, Chiara Pasini, Giorgia Baroffio, Roberto Acerbis, Valentina Riva, Alysson Diniz Dos Santos

Friday 3 july 2015

9:45 - 10:00h at Central America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Water resources and hydro informatics (WRHI), (ST) Management support systems and serious gaming

Parallel session: 14H. Water resources - Serious gaming

The recent advent of smart meters to increase the effectiveness of urban Water Demand Management Strategies (WDM) has allowed water utilities to gather quasi real-time consumption data to monitor the network status and load and useful to develop models of consumers' behavior. At the same time, the consumption information can warn users them about their habits in a fine grained way. In principle, the feedback alone could stimulate increased awareness on water usage, but the motivations and individual attitudes of consumers are mostly hidden. Moreover the same sustainable behavior should be incentivized also for households in which smart metering solutions are not present, but for which data gathering becomes a challenge. Modifying users' behavior by means of software is a though task, due to the difficulty in designing an effective application able to maintain the behavioral changes in the long term. Gamification, the use of game design techniques and game mechanics to enhance traditional applications and drive behaviors of its users, has been proven successful in tackling with the problem. In this work, we propose a gamified application to enhance users' participation and data gathering in a real WDM scenario, by describing the designing principles and the architecture of the envisioned solution. An integrated approach exploiting both board and digital games to incentivize users to submit meaningful data for water utilities and change their long term behavior is also detailed. The work is part of the SmartH2O project, which aims at creating an ICT platform to raise customers' awareness about their consumption and pursue water savings in the residential sector.