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Ideas for improving presentation

Feedback from Ravi

Ravi would like the technology price sliders to show what it assumes about, say, the purchase price of a car. e.g. This could show up in some balloon text when you move the slider.

Feedback from Steven Fries on 20/11:

Generally he felt we needed to do more to guide the user through and help them understand the cost implications of their pathway so that users were more able to “optimise” their pathway. Specifically he had two main concerns:

  1. He felt we needed to do more to help the user interpret the cost information and to enable them to “optimise”. He felt that the current presentation of costs could leave the user feeling frustrated because it wasn’t clear how they could use the information to improve upon their pathway.
  2. He felt that most users wouldn’t have an informed opinion about future technology costs so it was asking a lot of them to specify using the sliders what they thought about future costs. He thought users would find this frustrating.

The most do-able ideas we talked about that could address these points were:

  • Re #1, we could have warning/info messages that help the user improve upon their pathway. e.g.: “You are heavily dependent on technology X to generate electricity; given the risk its costs won’t fall, you should think about diversifying into a broader range of technologies.” The lessons Steven highlighted were around need to diversity, avoid lock in and be flexible on choice of technology.
  • Re #2, Steven was very keen on the idea of us having some kind of central point estimate for each technology as an “anchor point”. This could be Markal data.

Other ideas we discussed (which would be quite a lot more work) were:

  • The user specifies their technology price beliefs (varying the anchor point as appropriate) and the Calculator searches a set of pre-defined pathways and selects the one that is most suitable. e.g. If the user was very bullish about cost of nuclear power and thought energy efficiency would be expensive, it would select pathway U (proven). This means the user could only examine the costs of pre-defined pathways – I don’t think we’d want to do this.
  • The user completes a guided questionnaire seeking their views on technology costs and roll out in order to create a “cost optimal” pathway. e.g. User might be asked “Do you think that insulation measures could be rolled out at mass scale and very cheaply?” etc. Depending on their answer to the question, the following question would be different. Tom – I know you’ve given thought to this idea before. It’s a good idea but I suspect not do-able in our timescales.

Team meeting brainstorm ideas on 20/11:

  • Have some pre-prepared pathways that journalists can quote. e.g. From Friends of the Earth... etc. This should include some worked examples of how sensitive the results are to different cost assumptions.
  • Provide warning signs when users select something silly. e.g. If they select high costs across the board, a warning message should jump out.
  • Wiki should have summary pages for:
    1. all the questions we are seeking their views on (listed in order of priority sector)
    2. summary table showing the high/low cost estimates for all technologies. This is something stakeholders can quickly scan down without having to search for it in the wiki.
  • Can we have a "Breakeven button" that shows you what you would have to believe to make this pathway breakeven with the comparator pathway?