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DH APP The class will rely on the Designing Happiness app, which will serve as an engine for many of the insights revealed in the class. Students will submit approximately 21 photos/week throughout course. To get going, install your DH app (we will send it to you before April 5th). During the April 5th lab, we will set aside time for installation troubleshooting.

CLASS KICKOFFS Each week, one team will be in charge of a Kickoff, which is a chance for your team to design the first ten minutes of the class in a way that is meaningful and memorable. To increase the remembered utility of the experience, assign one person on your team to document the experience, and submit via email ( a one-page recipe for your Kickoff show for the DH Cookbook. On the day of your Kickoff, come to class 15 minutes early to set up.



Class participation is evaluated based on three factors.


• Your contribution to the class, which can take many forms, including, but not limited to, insightful comments and insights in class, lab, and contributions to the DH App. • Lateness and absence will adversely affect your CP grade. • Three assignments from the DH workbook (found on the class website) are due during the first three Thursday DH labs (April 12, 19th and 26th. These assignments will not be graded; they are simply part of CP). NOTE: Attendance on class on April 5th and 10th is mandatory for all registered & waitlisted students hoping to join the course. Also, to make up for one missing class, an extra credit assignment can be created and used to cover the class session missed.

INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS (30%) ASSIGNMENT 1: EXAMINE YOUR HAPPY (Due April 24 at 7am, submit via CourseWork). We know that what we think drives our happiness is not always what actually drives our happiness. Examine three weeks of data from your personal happy moments to answer the following questions: (a) What drives your happiness more than you thought? (b) What drives your happiness less than you thought? and (c) What are the implications of (a) and (b) for you when designing the company in which you want to work? The form for this could either be 2 written pages, or a 20-slide deck.

ASSIGNMENT 2: EXAMINE OUR HAPPY (Due May 8 at 7am, submit via CourseWork). By the middle of the quarter we will have gathered over 4,000 happy moments through the DH app. For this assignment, explore and synthesize the class data to answer the question: What three findings are most important when (a) designing your company, and (b) meeting the needs of your customers by your brand? The form for this could either be 2 written pages, or a 20-slide deck. Refer to the “Money, We Miss You?” assignment as an example. (NOTE: Students wishing to complete this project as a group may do so. Just let us know).

GRADING: Check minus, check, check-plus. Lateness will adversely affect your grade.

Your final team project is to design a brand that creates the greatest happiness for both (a) your team members (employees, coworkers, partners, suppliers), and (b) customers and anyone else who touches the brand. Use principles, ideas, and theories from class to architect a company culture, brand and customer offering that maximizes happiness yet still remains a viable business and makes the company impactful. You could (but are not limited to) explore how you would shape HR policies, internal processes, rituals, new products/services, brand messaging and customer experiences. This company could be real or fictional. For inspiration, refer to the Cantor Museum example.

DH DESIGNER’S GUIDE (Due May 29th 7am, submit via CourseWork): Create a designer guide that you are using to create your final presentation. The guide could be something you would give a future employer to help design their company and brand for happiness. So think of it as something you could use in the future, not just for your chosen brand. The format for can either be 5 written pages or a 50-slide deck. In addition, the Designers Guide should include 5 DH Toolkit Cards (details to follow).

DH PRESENTATION (Due May 29th 7am, submit via CourseWork): A 5-minute visually-rich presentation about your proposed company and brand. Suggestions for the final deliverable include showing what it’s like to work for your company (e.g., IDEO shopping cart video), or how you designed a brand experience for happiness. On the last day of class, you will have 5 minutes to present your final project.

GRADING: Teams will be judged on the depth, breadth and creativity of the DH Designer’s Guide (45%), and the depth, breadth and creativity of their DH Presentation (45%). The remaining 10% will come from feedback from your teammates. (At the end of the quarter you will be given the chance to assign points to your teammates based on their team contributions).

DESIGNING HAPPINESS WE ASSUME HAPPINESS IS STABLE, AN ENDPOINT TO ACHIEVE OR GOAL TO CHASE. IT’S NOT. What we think drives our happiness often doesn’t. So what does? And how can knowing this help us create strong companies and brands? Understanding happiness is crucial to building successful relationships, companies and brands. Yet recent research suggests that our definition of happiness is often confused and misguided. In this class, we focus on: rethinking happiness (a happy you); designing happiness (a happy company); spreading happiness (a happy brand). This class departs from a traditional approach toward happiness in three ways: First, we find that happiness is often over-rated. The class is not about chasing happiness; it is about designing for happiness. Toward that goal, we’ll dive into the power of negative emotions and experiences, as well as positive ones – the mix of which create meaningful experiences. Drawing on that research, we will design companies and brands that ultimately cultivate happiness. Second, the class will be data-intensive. Throughout the quarter, we will build a class-wide database to investigate real-world happiness data via a Designing Happiness application and test hypotheses about what truly makes teams and customers happy. Familiarity with largescale datasets will be useful; you’ll work in teams to mine this data and collect your own. Third, the class is not about personal happiness – it is about the question of how you cultivate happiness in others, particularly your employees and customers. For the final project, students work together to use an iterative design-thinking approach to uncover what really makes us happy (vs. what we think makes us happy), prototype solutions/products that cultivate happiness, and design happy companies and brands. This class is recommended for students who plan to be a future entrepreneur building a strong brand, an employee who finds meaning in their work, or someone who wants to understand happiness.

STANFORD BUSINESS SCHOOL MKTG355 | SPRING 2012 Jennifer Aaker, General Atlantic Professor of Marketing April 5 - June 5 @ GSB C106

Class Tuesdays Labs Thursdays Class Website

10-11:30AM 10-11:30AM

Jason Chua | Eugene Korsunskiy | Tim Shi | Laura Martini | Kyle Buza | Brett Westervelt and Barbara McCarthy (


Seed Happy

Grow Happy

Find Happy

Architect Happy

Deliver Happy

Amplify Happy

Present Happy

Synthesize Happy







Dave Morin (Path) Brittany Morin (Brit)

Genevieve Bell (Intel)

Halle Tecco (Rock Health)

Jenn Lim (Zappos)

Jonathan Harris (Cowbird) Sheryl O’Loughlin (ClifBar,



Mike Volpi (Index Ventures)

Nest Collective)


READING • Stumbling on happiness • Economics of happiness • Can seeking happiness make people happy? • Positive self-statements • Immune neglect • Flow • The psychology of happiness • Happiness research: A visual primer




• What makes us happy w/George Valliant video • If money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right • If money doesn’t make you happy, consider time • Global Equity strategy




• Dan Pink: Drive and motivation • A business case for happiness (class handout) • How to cultivate happiness (class handout)

• Is western culture too fixated on happiness? • A history of happiness • A new measure of wellbeing from a happy, little kingdom

• Pursuing happiness • How to build an army of happy, busy worker bees • Causal impact of employee work perceptions

• How happiness impacts choice • The happiest brands in the world • Producing customer happiness: The job to do for brand innovation




Brand chosen

Individual #2: Examine Our Happy


Individual #1: Examine Your Happy












• The dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network • How customers can rally your troops • (explore site(

• 2011 Class Day Speech by Charles Wheelan ’88

ASSIGNMENT DUE Designer’s Guide and Presentation





Overview + App Install

Team Lab + Group Formation

Team Lab

Team Lab

Company Field Trip

Brand Field Trip

Team Lab

GUEST Sep Kamvar


Come to Lab with your Chapters exercise from the DH workbook complete.

Come to Lab with your Six Selves exercise from DH workbook complete.

Employee deep dive – find a company you admire, visit it, talk to employees, conduct ethnography and needfinding to figure out what’s making them happy and not.

Customer deep dive find the customers of your brand. Observe and talk to them about their experience with a brand. How does the brand contributes to customer happiness, and how could the experiences be improved.


During class, we’ll provide an overview of the course and troubleshoot any install problems of the DH App.


(We Feel Fine)

6 THINGS EXERCISE AND HAPPINESS MADLIBS Come to Lab with your these two exercises from the DH workbook complete.







Team Lab

Happy Hour


GUEST Nick Felton (Feltron Reports)

Visual Design & Keynote Wizardry 5:15 PM in C106 Purin Phanichphant (IDEO) Learn the dirty secrets that designers use to make things look pretty – from decks to user interfaces and from resumes to posters. [Bonus points if you bring a MacBook with Keynote installed!]

Plan a celebratory party with your team for class.

DH Syllabus  

Designing Happiness 2012 Syllabus

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