Wellbeing Supportive Design

Wellbeing Supportive Design

We believe all technologies should be designed to support psychological needs. We should be healthier because of technology, not in spite of it. Therefore, we do research to uncover methods and strategies for designing in ways that do no harm and foster wellbeing. 

We call this 'Wellbeing Supportive Design'.  We started writing about it in our book, Positive Computing.  We have since developed a framework and set of measures called METUX described in our METUX journal article.

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Wellbeing Supportive Design Workshops

We sometimes run workshops for technology makers on how to design to support wellbeing. Below are the resources we refer to in our workshops.

  • METUX paper - (Includes summary of rationale for applying SDT to all technology design and introduces the Spheres of Technology Experience framework for doing so.)
    Peters, Dorian, Rafael A. Calvo, and Richard M. Ryan. “Designing for Motivation, Engagement and Wellbeing in Digital Experience.” Frontiers in Psychology 9, no. MAY (2018). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00797. 
  • SDT Guidebook - (a summary of the 40+ years of research providing evidence for Self-determination Theory and Basic Psychological Needs as mediators of wellbeing.)
    Ryan, Richard M., and Edward L. Deci. Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness. 1st ed. New York: The Guilford Press, 2017. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1462528767/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. 
  • SDT Paper (a key paper on SDT for wellbeing, there are others.)
    Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55(1), 68. PDF
  • Centre for Self-determination Theory - Website and hub with access to SDT research and measures. https://selfdeterminationtheory.org/  
  • Wellbeing Design Cards  - (Used in the workshop) Set of 9 cards providing at-a-glance reference to the 3 Basic Psychological Needs (necessary for wellbeing, motivation and engagement) and the 6 Spheres of Technology Experience.  They include definitions, support strategies, and examples of applications to everyday technology experience.   They can be used  for reference, brainstorming, ideation, troubleshooting or to otherwise add a new wellbeing lens through which to analyze your projects. (To be notified of future versions, join our list.)
    Download the PDF.
    Note: This is version 2 of the cards. We are working on a printed option which will include additional strategy cards.