How to design happiness

How to design happiness

At SXSW, I moderated an event called Designing Happiness. Its experts included Bruce Vaughn, former chief creative exec with Disney Imagineering; Gabby Etrog Cohen, senior vice president of PR and brand strategy at SoulCycle; and Randall Stone, director of experience innovation at Lippincott. All three brands strive to create happy experiences, not as an afterthought, but as the first step in what they do. It is an approach that’s paid huge dividends for each company.

Here’s what they taught me

“Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so,” said the philosopher John Stuart Mill. It’s a paradox at the heart of happiness. We are hardwired to enjoy the anticipation of a joyous event, and savor the memory. But in that actual moment of an experience? It can be hard to tell.

So at the creative consultancy Lippincott, designers have a theory called the Happiness Halo—and it’s built upon reconstructing happiness as a three-act structure of anticipation, experience, and memory. Read more

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