As well as providing a positive experience with each use, products and services designed with wellbeing in mind also create a lasting relationship between customer and company. So how are designers embracing the challenge of developing products that emphasise positive experiences and wellbeing?
People derive great satisfaction from participating in a process. Baking a cake is more fulfilling if we’re instructed to crack an egg into a pre-prepared mix, rather than just adding water and stirring. We prefer furniture that we’ve had to piece together ourselves over furniture that we’ve bought fully assembled. While this idea isn’t new, it is only recently gaining the appreciation and recognition it deserves. For us, as designers, we are fascinated by and compelled to research the design-impact experiences created by products or services. Our goal is an innovation process that takes these perspectives into account, and the lean approach of start-ups allows us to utilise a fast-paced, iterative product-development process where we can swiftly respond to customers’ feedback and needs.
Current positive-psychology research allows us to observe the correlation between how we complete everyday tasks and satisfy our emotional human needs, such as fulfilment and a sense of purpose. Today, we are finding ways to measure the abstract goals of happiness and wellbeing that are intrinsic to the human condition. Our product-development process begins with an understanding of what makes us feel good, and which specific tasks successfully address our needs. This research phase is embedded into the development process, enabling us to design products and services that enrich our lives and increase our sense of wellbeing.
In our work, the user’s perspective and experience is a consideration throughout the entire design process. To realise this ethos requires an agile and lean product development process that allows us to continually generate feedback, as well as rapid prototyping of products and services in fast, iterative cycles.
With our customers’ needs and desires as a launching pad – just like the start-up process of lean companies – we are able to consider the problem-solution aspects of a product, assist in developing a concrete business model for the innovation itself, and increase the wellbeing of end users, supporting a more sustainable, meaningful and enduring design.
We have made design for wellbeing and need-centered design an integral part of how we work. Moving forward, it will become a part of our conveyor project. In order to demonstrate the positive and lasting impact of this concept, we will be collating case studies that showcase this approach in action. Ultimately, we will pursue designs that preserve the advantages of technology and ease of use, while also attempting to enrich lives through products and services which are experience-oriented.