Positive Design might look like yoga for designers but is actually a way to design deliberately to bring joy and well-being to the consumer.

Positive Design. I heard it for the first time and I immediately thought about designers doing meditation and positive thinking (let’s face it, most of them should really do it). But has it turns out, it has nothing to do with that.

Positive Design is to design in a deliberated way to bring joy and well-being to the consumer. It has more to do with true satisfaction and the learning experience and less with the more commercial aspect of design.

According to the Delft Institute of Positive Design (ID Studio) buying things rarely make us feel happier. It’s truly more of a momentaneous happiness rather than a lasting, longing feeling. This means that we will go back to buying more things without even needing them, just to feel that sense of brief joy. Those moments aren’t good for us or the planet. Remember when we talked about eco-design?

So what’s the true effect of positive design?

There are a couple of things contemplated by designers and researchers in this design approach. A sort of design manifesto or a list of fundamentals to keep in mind when designing something.

The creation of possibilities is the first of them. A product shouldn’t be focused on solemnly solving a person’s problem, but rather allow new opportunities and a lasting well-being. This means that the consumer will truly feel an improvement in his/her life.

The second and third are related to personal growth and meaningful activities. Once again is all about inspiring people to engage in something bigger and better, with more meaning.

The last two are embracing richer experiences and accepting responsibilities. Not only on the personal level but also considering the community.

Ultimately, I believe that every designer wants to achieve all of these goals but only a shorthand of them actually gets there, mostly due to commercial pressure.

Still, if we consider long-term relationships between brands and consumers, those who try to design considering a positive design approach, tend to be the more successful.

I’ll leave you with an example and from now on, try to design in a more positive way 😊


Also published on Medium.