Delight Is in the Details

In this week’s reading of The Carbon Efficient City, A-P Hurd suggests that the adoption of new solutions happens more quickly when the solution is delightful. When I read this, I began to create a list in my head of all the items or ideas that bring me delight, and one of the recurring characteristics was detail. Each one demonstrates that they were well thought out and everything was planned out – down to the details.

Caffé Umbria – a small café that I frequent in Pioneer Square – gives a small square of chocolate with every espresso order. It’s a small thing, but it’s what sets that cup of espresso apart and keeps me going there instead of Zeitgeist, which arguably has better coffee.

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Another example is Melrose Market – a great market hall in Capital Hill. Aside from the excellent selection of goods and food, one can tell that each retailer took great care in detailing their space. My favorite detail is the small display of oils and spices that Sitka and Spruce has just outside their restaurant. It shows that they though of an artful way to store their supplies.

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In the same way this type of strategy can be used to encourage people to adopt new strategies or products that make our environment (natural and physical) better. AND-RÉ a design house in Portugal put their creative talents to the task of creating a better recycling bin – one that is more delightful. The result of the their work is the Pacman recyle bins – an ode to the 1980s video game. Not only does the design take on a fun shape, but the foot activated lid and large opening are details that make it easier to use.

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 The idea of thinking through the details is one that should be employed when trying to create delight. Delight is not something that happens through large force; rather, delight is the small, delicate, well-thought items that appear in a product or an idea.

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