CHI 2021


Design for Wellbeing – Methods and Strategies for Supporting Psychological Needs in User Experience

This course will be held as part of the 
ACM Computer-Human Interaction Conference CHI 2021
to be held online and in Japan.


While leading technology companies have created “digital wellbeing” initiatives in response to public concern over psychological impacts, these largely focus on changing human behavior (eg, via self-tracking and ‘screen time’ restriction) rather than on changing technology.  If respect for human wellbeing is to become a genuine priority with measurable impact, then technology will need to change too.  Designers are in a position to lead this change by integrating wellbeing psychology into design practice. This course will equip technology-makers with research-based knowledge and skills for practicing “wellbeing supportive design”, and for improving UX across the board by supporting psychological health.


By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and apply theoretical foundations of wellbeing psychology – Demonstrate an understanding of, and apply, evidence-based theoretical concepts from the psychology literature that can inform wellbeing supportive technology design.
  • Employ practical frameworks and tools for wellbeing supportive design to integrate psychological wellbeing into planning, ideation, analysis, and evaluation of new technologies.
  • Identify real-world examples of wellbeing impact based on design decisions within technology contexts.
  • Collaboratively generate design strategies for supporting wellbeing in current and future projects.
  • Use the Wellbeing Design Deck – Participants will receive a (physical) set of cards including suits for concepts, prompts, and wellbeing determinants (with associated references and tech-based examples) for use during workshop activities and as an ongoing collaboration and reference tool.



Dorian Peters is a designer, researcher and author who specializes in design for health and wellbeing, design for learning, and digital ethics in practice. She works at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, and at Imperial College London. Her books include Interface Design for Learning (New Riders) and Positive Computing (MIT Press), and she is a founding editorial member of the journal, AI Ethics

Rafael A. Calvo is Chair of Engineering Design at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London. He is also Imperial College Co-lead at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, and co-editor of the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society.  He focuses on the technical design of systems that support wellbeing in areas of mental health, medicine and education, often applying techniques in machine learning, natural language processing and data analytics. He has published 4 books and over 200 papers on these topics.