If you don’t love it, you won’t keep it. Viscerally pleasing design is a hallmark of the Designed for Life approach. Fads, trends, or limited editions are incorporated in transient and changeable elements only, shaping a core product line that is reliable, endearing, and timeless.

If you don’t love it, you won’t keep it. Viscerally pleasing design is a hallmark of the Designed for Life approach. Fads, trends, or limited editions are incorporated in transient and changeable elements only, shaping a core product line that is reliable, endearing, and timeless.

Love. It’s perhaps the strongest word in the universe. Loving a product means it brings you joy when you experience it. Love is easy. Love is effortless. Can you think of a product you love? I love my old 1970 Ford Bronco. It fills me with joy when I drive it because it is just such a simple, effective, and timeless machine…which is exactly why the vintage Bronco’s, for all of their shortcomings technologically compared to newer Broncos or any modern SUV, are so collectible and have even increased in value over time. What if I could discover more products that made me feel this way? Might we even be able to surround ourselves by products we love? How might that affect our overall well-being?

To wake up in a bed we love, we go to the kitchen and use products we love to make and eat breakfast…to get into our vehicle that we love to get to work in a place we love, and so on. I’m not saying that loving your bed or the pan you make eggs in will make getting up at 4 am any easier, but it can make your day that much better by removing just a bit of friction from your life.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

You’ll notice I’m talking about simple things, in this tenet we’re not talking about loving things because of the status associated with the brand or whatever. The type of love I’m talking about is the feeling of speeding along the PCH, top-down, in perfect weather…not the love of a crowd of gawkers when you park it on Main Street. It’s an intrinsic experience, personal, and authentic. You don’t need a Lamborghini or Spyder GT XLR to enjoy the breeze on the PCH, you need a solid vehicle with decent horsepower like my Bronco. Your personal experience with the product should be viscerally pleasing….and so much of that is determined by the creator and designers involved.

What do we mean when we say “Viscerally” pleasing? We mean your feelings for the product go deep, an almost immediate subconscious reaction to the product when you first see it or experience it, but also enduring—making it just as relevant years later. It’s not intellectual. It’s not prideful. This type of design is endearing and timeless, and most often simple, in order to be so instantaneously pleasing.

For a product to be truly “Loveable” according to this framework, it must stand the test of time. We hold on to the things we love, we maintain them, we try to make them adapt with us as we grow and change, and we keep them out of landfills by keeping them in our lives. We hope it’s built to last and won’t wear out. We end up consuming less because we don’t want another bed or another egg pan because we love the one we have…we made a good choice at the time of purchase, and the product’s attributes are the result of a hundred good choices made by its creators. It’s for this reason that “Loveable” is the first tenet in the DFL framework.

This first of 8 tenets puts emotion at the forefront. We believe that products can elicit emotions in their users. Feelings related to the design and the use of the product. Emotions are a core part of any organization. In the case of Lovesac, emotion is embedded in the name of the company, and it goes many layers deeper than that. From the comfort and connection that the Lovesac products have with their users to the culture of the company and the way we treat each other—it is my personal belief that, somehow, the good intentions and love put into a product and brand can be felt by its fans and users. It’s like it oozes out through every design element, from product attributes to the very sales process, staff, packaging, or even instructions. I know it sounds weird, but our experiences have shown us that it works!

From a designer’s point of view, creating a Loveable product means you focus on the essence of the problem that this product intends to solve. The more love you put into the core essence of it and the fundamental quality of it, the less reliant on fads and trends you can be. I don’t mean to hearken back to “less is more”, or “form follows function”, or any other cliché design principle of the last century (even though I recognize their value and contribution to the current state of design), I just want to say that when designers communicate their intentions to solve a problem through a product in a clear, thoughtful way for the user, this elicits joy, satisfaction, and, ultimately, love. Then, take it further. Complete the design, from the raw good inputs, to the packaging, to the character and personality of the wording on the tags or packaging—every element of the “total product” is intentional and addressed. Corners are not cut. From the way a product feels when we handle it to the way a robot tackles a complicated job, design can create products or even services that satisfy their users on an emotional level, and then on a rational one…and as any experienced marketer will verify: Winning the head is a battle, but moving the heart wins the war.

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

The Loveable tenet refers to the design characteristics that make a product timeless. The tenet invites creators to look into the core of their designs and emphasize how to communicate this with their potential users in the clearest and most direct way, without the need of sleight-of-hand tricks or unthoughtful “that’s just the way these things are done” kind of attributes. Intentional and thoughtful design results in timeless design and the resultant product will naturally be LOVEABLE.

Shawn

About Shawn

Founder & CEO of Lovesac, a Designed for Life furniture company. I have a goal of building products that are truly sustainable. Would you believe, I won a $1 million investment on Fox’s “Rebel Billionaire” show in 2005 and became President of Virgin Worldwide with Richard Branson’s companies for a time. Since then, I'm growing Lovesac to a 65+ store chain, recognized in Furniture Today as America’s fastest growing furniture retailer. I'm becoming known for my invention of Sactionals® Lovesac’s industry-disruptive sofa invention. Check out my vlog on YouTube! Get Off The Couch, with Shawn Nelson of Lovesac

One Comment

Leave a Reply

X