User-Centred Design (UCD) researchers have been investigating smart homes for 20 years and have highlighted the approaches’ effectiveness in identifying the requirements of users. Despite the growing interest in smart homes, research has shown that its adoption remains low. This owes to the tendency for research to often use a technological-centred approach to improve a pre-existing product or tailor it to target users. Visions of smart homes may therefore not have been fully based on a clear understanding of users’ needs and sociotechnical issues of concern. Enabling the public to have a role in shaping the future of smart home technologies and related sociotechnical issues of concern in the early stages of the UCD process have been widely recommended. Specifically, there have been calls to engage the public in sharing responsibility for developing data privacy agreements, data governance frameworks, and effectively domesticating technologies into life and ‘home’ systems. This paper introduces the citizens’ jury method to enable the public to have a role in shaping the future of smart homes and related sociotechnical issues. This is an understudied area of research that would be considerably valuable for practitioners in the usability and smart technology sectors. Findings from this paper are based on a cross-section of UK citizens’, exploring their opinions on sociotechnical issues of data security, accessibility to and control over use of devices and technological appliances associated with smart homes. A set of recommendation are developed to provide guidance and suggested actions on approaching these issues in the future.
Extreme weather alerting systems are one of the central tools utilised in adapting to changing weather patterns resulting from climate change. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the current alerting systems for hot and cold weather used in England to notify the health and social care sector of upcoming extreme weather events. We consider the views of stakeholders on the current system and explore their perspectives on the proposal to move towards an impact-based system. The paper concludes that while the current system is an effective tool, stakeholders feel they need to draw on additional material to assist with the development of an appropriate response. We also highlight that many stakeholders are concerned about the potential for creating alert fatigue due to a lack of clarity of the geographical area impact of some of the alerts. Consequently, there was a high level of support from stakeholders for the move towards an impact-focused system.