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Are interactive web-tools for environmental scenario visualization worth the effort? An experimental study on the Swiss electricity supply scenarios 2035

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Published in Environmental Modelling & Software. 2019, vol. 119, p. 124-134
Abstract Interactive web-tools are regarded as powerful methods to present large scenario ensembles from environmental modelling in an understandable and engaging way. Yet, there is little empirical evidence whether they are more effective than traditional approaches such as story-and-simulation. We conducted a between-groups experiment, where two groups of participants (total N = 313) differed in the scenario information received: (1) an interactive web-tool for exploring a large database of Swiss electricity scenarios 2035 and their environmental, health, and economic impacts; (2) a website presenting four of these scenarios with storylines. Results indicate that our interactive web-tool did not lead to benefits in self-reported understanding and engagement because there was no difference between the conditions. In fact, participants using the interactive web-tool performed worse in an understanding quiz than those using the four scenarios. These unexpected findings call for more empirical research whether interactive tools for scenario visualization meet the needs of intended users.
Keywords Interactive toolsScenariosUsability evaluationPublic engagementDecision supportElectricity supply
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Other version: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1364815218309563
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Research group FORE10 Renewable Energy Systems
Project FNS: 160563
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XEXAKIS, Georgios, TRUTNEVYTE, Evelina. Are interactive web-tools for environmental scenario visualization worth the effort? An experimental study on the Swiss electricity supply scenarios 2035. In: Environmental Modelling & Software, 2019, vol. 119, p. 124-134. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:120390

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Deposited on : 2019-07-05

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