Design is about relationships, so designing for sustainable engagement is designing for healthy relationships.
When we create something, we start a relationship with whomever uses it. As the ones starting these relationships, it’s our responsibility (and in our best interests) to make them healthy ones.
The Ladder of Sustainable Engagement is a framework for crafting products & services that provide meaningful value, have a balanced rhythm, embody an emotional personality, and endure over time.
My work for the past few years has been about helping people make healthy choices. In my eyes, the biggest challenge there is keeping people engaged in the relationship once we’ve started it.
So this is my answer to that challenge, an attempt to understand what a product or service needs to be to engage people in a sustainable way. I don’t intend this to be exhaustive, nor to be perfect. But I do hope it’s useful for you, dear reader, and for myself 😁
I’ve released this as a Udemy course through The Greatness Studio!
Here are the slides from my talk at @AmsterdamUX.
- My original post on uxdesign.cc
- Kouprie & Sleeswijk Visser, F (2009) A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’s life. Journal of Engineering Design 20(5) 437-448
- The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
- Emotional Toolbox Character Map – Laurie Hutzler
- Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care – Cleveland Clinic
- Replacing Personas with Characters – Alan Klement
This Is Just The Beginning
The Ladder of Sustainable Engagement represents the foundation of my design playbook. It’s part of a larger quest to articulate my own design vision, mission, and process. If you’re on a similar quest, or if you’re looking to develop your UX superpowers, stop by The Greatness Studio and see if we can help!
Special thanks to Hester Bruikman!