Design probes for happiness

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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This thesis explores the potential use of design probes for capturing the essence of users’ happiness by understanding their dreams, needs and emotions. Since the realization of the significance of happiness in design, designers are often encouraged to position positive emotions as the starting point for developing new product/service concepts. In order to gain a holistic understanding of the user and the environment of use, extracting these emotions and their contexts from the users can be a vital step in product development process. Design probes are an approach of user-centered design for understanding human phenomena and exploring design opportunities. The thesis specifically explores the potential use of design probes for extracting positive emotions from users which serve as a source of inspiration for the designers for developing new products and services. The relationship between the key components of this thesis: happiness, design and design probes was established at the onset of this thesis through literature review. The retrospective analysis of the case studies found in the literature helped in determining different elements for designing probes for happiness in terms of materials of the probe kit, their functions and key user insights gained from such probing process. An experimental study with coffee as the focus product facilitated the testing of these probes for happiness. It also helped in simulating the design process that of a design team interested in exploring design opportunities for bringing happiness to the users. Overall, the results and findings of this experimental study demonstrate that design probes can be used for gaining holistic understanding about the happiness of the users. In addition, the study helps in proposing a set of guidelines of essential elements to be considered while designing probes specific to capturing happiness related information from the users. The thesis is of value for designers because it can facilitate their design process to build products or services that stimulate positive emotions in users.
Person, Oscar
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Person, Oscar
design probes, happiness, product emotions, coffee, user-centered design
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