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Diefenbach, Sarah; Hassenzahl, Marc; Eckoldt, Kai; Hartung, Lena; Lenz, Eva; Laschke, Matthias (2017): Designing for well-being: A case study of keeping small secrets. In: The Journal of Positive Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 2: pp. 151-158
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Abstract

To a good part, well-being depends on individual engagement in beneficial activities. The present paper draws attention to the potential of encouraging and shaping well-being-enhancing activities through interaction with everyday objects and technology. Our case study started from the activity of keeping ‘small’ secrets as a way to experience autonomy and privacy. We situated this activity in an office and ‘materialized’ it through a digital picture frame, holding a secret picture. Inspired by seven interviewees’ detailed descriptions of interacting with secrets, we designed an especially secretive interaction to consume the picture and compared it to a more technical interaction. In a first empirical exploration, using video prototypes (N = 276), the secretive interaction was rated as more positive and providing more intense feelings of privacy and autonomy. This hints at the potential of objects and the careful design of interaction with this objects to intensify the positive experiences gained from mundane activities.