Making Stuff People Love (Updated)

A Design Framework for Sustainable Engagement

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.

Healthy relationships are valuable, balanced, emotional, and satisfying.

Healthy relationships grow deeper over time.

A healthy relationship helps everyone involved in some meaningful way. The rhythm feels fluid, natural, and balanced. Interaction is personal, because participants listen actively and respond with emotion to each other. And the benefit endures, growing deeper over time.

These hallmarks of a healthy relationship are also the four key attributes of a sticky, i.e. sustainably engaging, product or service.

Design is about relationships, so designing for sustainable engagement is designing for healthy relationships.

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.


Here are the slides from my talk at @AmsterdamUX.


Further Reading

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!

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