Happy design presentation – ThoughtWorks away day, 11 September 2010



I recently presented on the topic of Happy Design

What really matters is that real users, get real benefit from my designs. I don’t really want to make anybody money (although this helps pay my way to doing more important work). What i really want to do is delight users. On occasion, like in the video I made, I want to make them cry. I want people to have fun so they do things that are good for them more. Does this means understanding what it will take to perform miracles? For my next project I want to explore how I can allow the blind to see, the deaf to hear and give the dumb a voice with innovative interactive design. Watch this space!

Our perception today of happiness and success is very shallow. Fame, fortune, fast cars. But when you die none of that really matters. True happiness is helping others to achieve their full potential. Think Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Ghandi. I get a chill down my back just thinking about the sacrifices they made to help people.

So how can I make a difference? How can I apply my graphic design, user experience design and design thinking skills to really improve some one’s life? I think it starts by focussing on making them happy. Create a tool or experience that will help them achieve an important goal; shift their perception or simply let them have fun.

Here is the presentation: Happy Design

Here is what Volkswagen did as an experiment: