Voice of the Products & Smile in a Box

The main goal for this two-week class was to get familiar with conducting fieldwork, encouraging users to participate in the design process and iterating on ideas and prototypes. The course was a collaboration with the Danish brand Tiger who challenged us to design a new system, service or product which would support their vision of spreading joy to their costumers and make a product or a visit to the store even more enjoyable.

Through interviews and fieldwork within Tiger shops, we tried to find out as much as possible about the topic of happiness connected to objects. We came up with several observations:

  • People focus on the past and the future so often that they cannot enjoy the present.
  • Buying an object creates an instant feeling of happiness, not an everlasting feeling.
  • When people loose their affection for cheap objects they usually throw them away.
  • Objects can produce happiness, but that doesn’t mean this idea was already involved in their production.

We then narrowed down our research insights into three design challenges:

  • How might we design objects or experiences that help people enjoy the present moment?
  • How might we include the idea of happiness or experiences in the mass production of objects?
  • How might we spread happiness or experiences at stores in another way than people buying objects?

Through several brainstorming and prototyping sessions and we ended up with two very different concepts:

VOICE OF THE PRODUCTS

People in Denmark do not associate Tiger products with quality and generally feel less attracted to mass produced items. They value quality, but what is quality? Mass produced objects are normally flawless and identical, while handmade objects often include small imperfections. Why do most people often prefer handmade products? – They have more soul!

‘Voice of the Products’ is an attempt to add individuality to mass produced items. By attaching a collection of small speech bubbles to Tiger products we gave seemingly identical objects an individual voice and therefore a personality. Some speech bubbles are funny, others referred to the object’s purpose. All in all they captured the attention of the store visitor and possibly formed a connection.

SMILE IN A BOX

Focussing on the visit in the store rather than the buying of an object, we came up with the idea of installing five small boxes. The boxes all had their own personality and served as dispensers for little paper cards. The card’s content depended on the character, the fortune-teller for example would hand out horoscopes, the poet quotes and poems, the kid illustrations and comics. There’s also the voice that would hand out messages written by the store’s customers. Receiving a card is free and would not only brighten a receiver’s day but could be a reason for returning to the store. It could also be used to accompany a gift bought at the Tiger store.