Cheerful design

Happiness is often viewed as an ethereal and esoteric concept—a feeling that’s more governed by destiny and circumstance than the product of a well-developed scheme.

The conversation regarding the relationship between design and happiness has gained traction in recent years. Whether it’s a witty billboard that makes us chuckle on our commute to work or a chaise lounge perfectly contoured to our spine, the objects and experiences that get the little details right can boost our appreciation of both the world around us and ourselves.

Design should make us smile more. Isn't it what it's all about?

Smiling elevates your mood and reduces stress, and we must remember that we can facilitate happy emotions through our work.

Below a compilation of cheerful ideas in a random order:

Smile Mirror:

An emotionally smart mirror that becomes reflective when it detects a smiling face. The purpose of Smile Mirror is to create a delightful personal moment, by surprising people with the reflection of their powerful smiles.  

Benjamin Brush


A fun idea to get kidsand adultsto brush their teeth.

It has gamification through songs and an app, they can last up to a year and the design is cute. I love the Pom Pom brush!

Olaf Scooters


I love multifunctional products and this one goes from backpack to trolley, scooter and skateboard.

I can think of a couple of situations when this could have been handy in the airport.

The Hello Bench

The Hello Bench by Nescafé was presented during the Milano Design Week 2017.

It is an unusual bench used as a social experiment, reducing the distances between people. I like the idea behind it. It's an unexpected way to break the ice and start a conversation. 

Popup + Notifly


Notifly is a calendar notification device that sits on your desk and lets you know when you have a meeting, by blowing a bubble. It’s one of three joy-filled conceptual provocations created by IDEO NY designers for Studio 360’s Redesigns series.

A lot of suds were popped in the making of Notifly. We tested dozens of different size and shape tubes, and six different bubble solutions in the quest for the perfect bubble.

Our world isn’t exactly designed to delight, so it's important to watch out for opportunities that make us healthier, more productive and creative through design. The examples above are just some ideas but they show how the elements of gamification and surprise can go a long way.

Where can you apply this and introduce an element that makes your product or service more enjoyable?