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How to use the PSD tool?

The tool can be used for inspiration and elaboration during the following activities:​

  • strategy formulation

  • research planning

  • creative exercises/workshops

  • brain-storming

  • solution development

  • or any other design activity that requires a level of inspiration! 

There are 2 categories of cards. The first category of cards act as rules of thumb, depicting fundamental principles from Positive Design and Strategic Design. The second category of cards present happiness strategies in 4 different contexts of a product-service system (PSS). Each context plays a role in the PSS of a company, and comes with possible happiness-enhancing opportunities. The goal is to use the cards to learn about the opportunities and principles, and use these as inspiration for research and development purposes.

Is your specific project focused on additional topics? Not to worry! The card set also includes additional “Template” cards per happiness strategy focus, to expand its usage for personalized inspiration. 

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Rules of Thumb

Knowledge from both strategic- and positive design domains offer important principles. These principles should be kept in mind when using the happiness interventions during a design activity. Along with the knowledge presented about the Positive Design framework, these rules of thumb are fundamental in developing solutions that are strategically sound and make happiness measurable. 

Happiness Strategies

The happiness strategies are opportunities distilled from literature- and user research. These opportunities focus on different business- and organizational aspects for which a company can take happiness into account. Thus, each strategy proposes how one can intervene to create this focus on happiness. 

Select a topic and use one or multiple strategies that fit the focus of your design or research project. Use the description to get a grasp of the strategy and think about how it fits in the context of your project. Alternatively, discuss the strategy within a group to get more input. Use the reference guide to improve your understanding and use the considerations to stimulate your thinking and expand your ideation. 

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Reference Guide

​Each happiness strategy has one or more considerations attached. Use these as guiding information to stimulate your thoughts regarding the specific focus. Presented with each considerations is a set of example questions, answering these might give you a push in the right direction. You are encouraged to come up with more questions to broaden your understanding. 

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Vision, Mission, Ambition: 

Describing the strategic plan of a company's business and organization gives direction to its activities and approaches. This can be its purpose, core goals, values, and actions, among other things, it gives direction to the company's activities and approaches. When mentioned, think about:

  • How does the company want to be positioned within its environment?

  • How does the company add or create value for its consumers and employees?

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Life Circumstances:

The external environment influences someone on a conscious or subconscious level. The circumstances regard everything that is outside of oneself and can be from materials to relationships, from services to acquired achievements, and everything in-between. When mentioned, think about:​

  • How do the products, services, and systems influence the experience of a user?

  • How do the people/entities in a certain environment influence the experience of a user?

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Intentional Activities:

Here it is about the internal motivations and the actions that follow. A person holds values and seeks out certain behavior that are in line with these values. It is also about fulfilling needs that require satisfaction, having a purpose and stimulating oneself to do something. When mentioned, think about:

  • What are the (possible) motivations of a user in a specific situation?

  • How do the values and expectations of a user influence their behavior?

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Pleasure is about feeling positive and feeling good. Be this by improving positive experiences or minimizing negative experiences. Situations and activities in a company's environment can be experienced either way, in the end it is about evolving to make users' experience a pleasurable one. When mentioned, think about:

  • How are the company's solutions and environment experienced?

  • How does the company add or create value for its consumers and employees?

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Personal Significance:

Having personal goals and aspirations is an integral part of everyone's pursuit of happiness. Experiencing that you stimulated, have an impact and are appreciated. Creating shared goals or aligning personal one's goals over-time will boost individual and group happiness. When mentioned, think about:

  • How does the company or solution offerings assist in achieving goals?

  • How does the company add or create value for its consumers and employees?

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Knowing and practicing the difference between what is good and what is bad. This aspect of positive design takes into account moral awareness, responsibilities and contemplating values in the world. When mentioned, think about:

  • How can this be evaluated as good or bad by the stakeholders involved?

  • Should people care for this, and how to make them care where necessary?

Experience Needs

Additionally to the references and considerations it is worthwhile to take into account the following needs as general guideline when using the PSD tool. It all comes down to designing solutions for the needs of users. Each user is unique and requires a personal fit for a solution to achieve optimal satisfaction. For happiness, experience needs are important as they play a significant role for long-term satisfaction. Below, you can find the needs that are proposed by Hassenzahl et al. (2013) that are important to keep in mind for experience design.

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