Employees at the firm Altitude were asked to imagining what it would be like to be in a failed romantic relationship with objects.
In an exercise of empathy, six members of staff at Altitude, a product innovation firm, were asked to break-up with a once cherished item. The design strategy exercise wasn’t just for fun, but functioned as a way to understand how consumers become attached to inanimate and ephemeral things. Netflix can become our best friend, until it begins recommending all the wrong things, same with the headphones that are used everyday until the sad moment when one earbud cuts out.
The breakup letters — written to a pair of headphones, Netflix, a printer, a blender, Gladware and a stud finder — draw attention to our deep dependency on certain objects as well as our fickle attitude towards them when things go wrong.
Alanna Fincke, VP of Marketing at Altitude, explains,
Reframing one’s relationship to a product as something romantic gives the user permission to exaggerate his or her biggest frustrations and wishes. That, in turn, can help designers understand the emotional connection between people and their products, services, and experiences.
See the break up letters below:
Source/Images: Fast Co.Design