The Positive Design Framework: how to use your time better?

Figuring out what’s a good use of your (limited) time can be surprisingly tough.

I’ve finally accepted that as much as I love learning about website coding, it wasn’t a good use of my time, and I’ve moved to a WordPress site. Hopefully this means that I spend less time tinkering with CSS, and more time to make posts that people find helpful.

One way to think about it is to reflect on whether what you’re spending lots of time on ticks any of these categories:

  • Fun things
  • Useful things (to you)
  • Helpful things (for others)

If something ticks all three categories it’s a really good use of my limited time.

This is loosely based on things like the Positive Design Framework, designing for wellbeing.

Can you do all three? Virtue (doing virtuous things!), personal significance (meeting personal goals), pleasure (doing fun stuff).
Loosely based on the work of Desmet, P. M. A., & Pohlmeyer, A. E. (2013). Positive design: An introduction to design for subjective well-being. International Journal of Design, 7(3), 5-19

Faffing about in PHP and CSS was fun, and a personal goal, but wasn’t helping anyone else!

Hopefully this new theme gives me the same pleasure in good web design (even better, since this is design is made by someone who knows a lot more than me about design), meets my personal goal for good web content, and creates more helpfulness to others by giving me time to blog.

Maybe even this simple idea of positive design helps someone? Whether it does or not, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


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