Joyful Design

Challenges and chances for Joyful Design.

Challenges and chances for Joyful Design to make an impact in our society according to Himanshu Baradwaj. According to Baradwaj there is one main challenge which is technology and one huge chance for joyful design in building authentic connections through design.

Through increasing level of technology taking a major part in our lives issues in regards of anxiety and the fear of missing out arises. Especially the presence of social media can lead to bad conditions such as triggering anxiety, jealousy, FOMO etc. Digitization, especially social media, is likely to trap people in a filter bubble. Smartpones disconnect us from reality and disconnects our attention from the present which is a major issue in reducing our sense of wellbeing.

“Stress, anxiety, disappointment, eyestrain, sleep disorders, depression, fear, social comparison, bullying, loneliness, and addiction are some of the emotions people experience while using technology products today.” —Himanshu Baradwaj

Especially stress causes illness—physical as well as mental. Which in return affects the quality of the end product design according to Baradwaj.

In regards to technology Baradwaj states that technology should be designed to give a sense of purpose, motivation, inspiration and the connection needed to solve current problems.

Authentic Connections
According to Baradwaj there is a natural craving in humans for authentic connections and positive experiences.

This matches especially with previous research—in symbolic meaning and postmodernity—where we can see a trend in craving for authentic relationships and being part of authentic communities. This research stated that to satisfy the human desire for community, modern individuals seek products and services less for their use value than for their linking value. Linking value results when a product facilitates and supports communion by providing a site, an emblem, the support for integration or recognition, and so forth. Here, linking value refers to product properties that cause users to experience a feeling of communion. [2]

In past times designers have undergone many techniques to enhance happiness when designing products. Reviews, testimonials, and gamification have been some of those techniques. But those techniques do not create authentic happiness. Baradwaj states that happiness is little about the product or tangibles itself, but more about experiences, long, compelling and authentic stories.

[1] Source: Himanshu Baradwaj. June 24, 2021. UX Collective. Can design be more joyful? URL:

[2] Cova, B. (1997). Community and consumption, towards a definition of the “linking value” of product or services. European Journal of Marketing,31(3/4), 297-316.