Expedition Guest: Laura Nino on Positive Design

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At the final presentations of the Hospitality Excellence Programme, Laura Nino shares her experiences as a service designer with me. Laura is pleased to see that the mission of the Expedition taps into the principles of Positive Design.   Laura Nino Positive Design, is there a link with happiness? Oh yes. Positive design is a philosophy. Pieter Desmet is one of the founding fathers of the institute of positive design at TU Delft. They believe we can design for happiness. They see insights into emotions as the gateway to happiness. They have created a dictionary of emotions and they have ways of measuring emotions quite precisely. One of the reasons we have not been able to create more happiness, or wellbeing, in society is that we were unable to measure and understand the emotions.   Can you give examples?   One of the case studies evolved around a blind kid. he does not feel safe. How can we give this person the sense of playfulness and security and freedom that he needs? On the basis of the research which measured his emotions, they actually created these playgrounds for blind kids, where they can run freely. It is about reaching the fundamental needs of people that you did not reach before. So if you can map the emotions, you add an extra layer to the customer journey. As a designer, you collaborate with the end user. How do you do this? The designer sits with the end user and helps her to articulate her needs and emotions. There are different tools to help this process along. The designer always works toward the point where the end user is able to thibnk positively about how to solve the situation that is difficult for the. As a designer, you sort of grab that moment and start prototyping…. And what do you do after you have the prototype? You share it with experts, for example technology people or specialists in the field you are working in—and they will give you feedback so you can tweek the prototype, improve it so that it will really answer the needs of your end user. So what turns service design into positive design? It is basically about helping people to articulate the deeper core issues beneath the problems on the surface. Often there are quite complex issues that people have to deal with in their everyday lives. If you can think about solutions that could help them alleviate these problems, this will increase their wellbeing in a positive sense. And how do you select the right sample, or target group for your research? In service design we talk about lead users. They are the persons within the reference group that are already ahead and think actively about solutions. Lead users of middle-aged women are already thinking about how to continue their lives after turning 65; they are designing their own community, they articulate the needs they have and the aspirations they have. These can then be translated into hospitality propositions… such as the ones that were developed in the Hospitality Programme of today—and hopefully in the Expedition as well. Laura , thank you so much. It will be great to learn more from you in the Expedition, in the service design blocks.   For more info: Thoughtrefinery.net

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