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A design is a crucial part in almost everything especially in the business world. Good design in a product or service can help someone save time and money. Aside from that, good design can make them feel good. Take example from a music box, while the music sound is kind of enthralling, when we are talking about usability, it is technically useless. However, when it is filled with good and calming music, we can see it a little bit differently and for some people, it simply makes them…happy. Why? That’s because we don’t only see it from a design’s perspective. Another factor that makes a useless music box is how the owner gets that music box. Let me tell you a simple story-based analogy. Yesterday was Anna’s birthday and her boyfriend gave her a music box he created by himself. While a music box provides nothing significant but a sense of nostalgia and calmness, Anna was happy because it was a gift from her loved one. From this story, we can conclude that a design that can re-create a memorable and calm feeling can also be a factor that drives someone to buy a product. Simply put, it’s a design that makes you happy. So, what kind of design that can make you happy? Well, as a person who works at a creative agency that provides web design services, I often have discussions with the design team about how to create a design that makes things easier for clients but can also makes them happy at the same time. During this step, I have been doing some research on ‘happy design’ and I found something, or rather, a country that piqued my interest to relate it to the kind of design I’m talking about in this article. Yes, the happiest country on Earth; Denmark.

For the past few weeks, I have learned that happiness is an essential part of Danish culture. They created their own word to describe the cultural phenomenon of creating the conditions for happiness. The word is “Hygge” (pronounced he-yoo-guh) is a state of comfort and cosiness that the Danes make a routine for on a daily basis. Hygge is basically the ultimate form of long talks and laughs with your family while indulging yourself with a cup of hot chocolate and wrapping yourself in a soft blanket in the winter. Yes, it’s that sense of happiness – the one that makes you comfortable. While you can form your own Hygge way, there is something consistent when it comes to the Danish’s Hygge: candlelight.

During my research on Hygge, I noticed that lighting has the influence on the way we feel and that is what the Danish has been implementing to make themselves the happiest country in the world. Research shows that light exposure may be able to directly alter cognition and mood. Although the country has very little sunlight most of the year, the Danes turn the dark days into happy days by distinctively using natural lighting in their interiors as much as possible, not just to be able to see clearly, but rather, to achieve Hygge. The author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, Meik Wiking states that about half of Danish people light candles at least four days a week and 31% light six or more candles each time.

Many people thought candlelight was the same as electric light source, but the truth is; the function and the benefits are truly different. Candlelight is considered as a dim, natural light source that can still provide visibility at night without interrupting our natural circadian rhythm. It also allows our body to relax and fall asleep more easily, which in turn, can reduce stress and anxiety. So, what does candlelight have to do with product and web design?

When you own a business that has its official offline shop, you may see your customers every day, right? However, what you don’t see is this fact; your business place is also your product. If you were a customer heading to a book shop to buy your favourite books, of course you would stay at the shop for a longer time to see which books you were going to buy. While staying there, you saw that the place was heavily crowded and super noisy and the lighting was so bad that it hurt your eyes. Would you still be there for a longer time? I sure would not if I were you. Therefore, the ambiance of your interior design needs to be explored. For example, if you own a book shop, you may illuminate your rooms with candlelight or dim lights to create an ambiance that can lift your visitors’ spirits and make them relax.

In the web design world, there is always a question whether or not the design should be bright and vivid. Sure, it is okay, but you need to be careful choosing colours. Bright screens can basically have a negative effect on mood regulation. To fix that, use dark mode in a UI to achieve a similar effect to the effect brought by dim light. Designing a Dark Mode version of your product or your website can be beneficial both for you as a business owner and your customers. It helps improve accessibility that can increase contrast for users that are visually impaired or colour blind. More importantly, it reduces the amount of blue light that’s emitted from the screen, which can reduce stress and anxiety as well as improve sleep quality.

Although many businesses are focused on big things, simple thing like this can actually work wonders for your business. Pay attention to details even to this trivial matter. Who knows what you can achieve from that. Remember that you should think from the smallest to the biggest so that you can provide solutions and ideas to keep improving your business especially in the design part. If you need help with design, do not hesitate to contact us now and let our awesome team help you.