Happy Path

The world of User Experience, or Human-Computer Interaction as it was called ages ago when I was doing my PhD, is filled with metaphors. Some of them involve travelling. For example the concept of "customer journey map" which is a way to represent how a customer interacts with a device or a service. Another example is "happy path" which is when a user is going through a process in a smooth way without any hiccups.
From Brännö 2016
One who has done a lot of research into how to design digital solutions in such a way that using them makes you happy is Pamela Pavliscak. She combines ethnography, computer science and behavioural science in her job at Change Sciences in New York, and I bet that makes her happy. Her talk last year at the From Business to Buttons 2015 conference in Stockholm is really inspiring, both in content and design. It turns out that in terms of user experience with digital devices, happiness is a combination of pleasure and purpose.

Based on lots of data from questionnaires and interviews, she summarises her findings in the following levelled recommendations for making users really happy: Make sure the usability is working on a basic level. Create trust. Make room for creativity. Build a community. Afford meaningfulness.
From Peter Korn's Garden 2015
A lot of what she says resonates with me, especially since it to some extent touches upon the basics of Positive Psychology and Appreciative Inquiry. But also the work of Tom Peters and his model of customer satisfaction, where he talks about the Lust Hierarchy.

I think I will by her new book when it's released: Designing for Happiness: The User and Business Benefits of Positive Design. I'm sure that it will make me happy by helping me combining pleasure and purpose.
From Madeira 2010

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