A stop counter top. For home experience design

Fluid Daily Experiences – What are they, and how can they improve your life?

Why are you trying to coin phrases JP? It’s weird, no one gets it at first, what’s the point kid?

Well, it happened by accident, and when I said it to the person listening, they lit up and got curious. So, I decided to keep using it and so here we are.

Essentially, a fluid daily experience is an event or task in your day that was once frustrating or annoying, but through applying design thinking principles you create a solution the turns that task from being frustrating or annoying to relieving, simple, thoughtless, and easy.

The common task were ones you typically didn’t even realize were issues. One I dealt with, for instance, was putting on my shoes. It’s something I’ve done for years, and one would think oh, this is just how you do it, it’s always going to be a bit of a struggle, you’ll just constantly have to fight the shoes forever. However, one day I saw a facebook ad for a shoe that was being sold with stretchy laces, I thought, ohhh shit, that’s brilliant, I’m getting me some of those!

So I did. And wow, they are phenomenal, it is such a relief to take my shoes off with a slip, and put them back on with a simple pull.

The key to fluid daily experiences is to create a system and customized solutions to fit with the way you do things every day. We all use products in different ways, and have specific needs to make our daily lives operate more efficiently.

Two books got me on to this way of living. First was The Personal MBA, which talked about systems and processes in business, I ate that shit up! So I figured, why not apply some of these ideals to my personal life. When I did, it had a tremendous effect, and help me manage my depression. Which is one of the reasons I’m doing this business is because I know the effect it can have on relieving not all, but lighting my depression.

The second book was The Design of Everyday Things. This book completely transformed the way I see the world. What changed is when I would interact with a product in the world, if my experience was poor, or I felt like I had used it incorrectly, I wouldn’t blame myself anymore. Now, I would understand it simply as poor design.

Notice how the burners are arranged to align with the burners they correspond with

One of the best examples from the book is about how most stoves are designed. They typically, at least all the ones I’ve owned, have the dials in a row on the front of the stove. This gives me, what Don Norman calls, “affordances,” or indicators of what I’m supposed to do. It’s not intuitive which dial goes to which burner. Now, a smart way to design this system would be for the dials to be set in a square so then you know the top right dial goes to the top right burner, duh! Even though the difference doesn’t seem like much, the impact it has is.

So, since I’m not buying a new stove, the way I combated this was to remove the dials of the burners I never use (I really only cook eggs), and just have a single dial that goes to a single burner. Furthermore, to make my experience easier and more automated. I took a piece of duct tape and set the burner to the correct heat that I want it to be at to cook my eggs correctly. I then placed that thin piece of duct tape along the dial and onto the front of the stove, then cut it so the dial could spin. Now, when I turn the stove on I just line the two pieces of duct tape up and I have the stove set to the correct temperature every day without fail.

It’s difficult to help people understand the feeling these systems and ways of doing things could impact their lives. I love so much the feeling of relief that I get daily from these little alterations that I make in my designed environment around my home. There’s so much less stress and frustration I have to deal with, and because of this, it makes it so much easier to deal with the larger stresses and frustrations life throws at me. Like dealing with customer service representatives at my internet company, or more importantly, who I’m going to hire to work with me, and how I’m going to find that person. That’s a huge stressful decision for sure.

Design your environment, make life easier and less stressed, start building fluid daily experiences into your life. Contact me and let’s get started.