The Project

The assignment was to design something for others from your personal values; within the theme of sustainability. For people with an expensive hobby, impulse buying is easily justified and can lead to large unplanned expenditures with a negative impact on ones life.

Project Details

  • year 2019
  • client Master Design for Interaction
  • nature Individual Project
  • what I did Contextmapping, Design Research, Interaction Prototyping

Problem Scenario

People generally know what they want out of life to be happy. However, when infatuated with a possible impulse buy, we tend to forget these things, or make false rationalisations. Moreover, buying environments offer no reward for not buying. Even online, you need to close the webpage which feels like denying yourself the possibility. Watch collectors are aware of their impulse buys, and the impact on their life. Some of them indicated to need help in stopping themselves committing to them.

VISION   Reminding the user of their own arguments against buying, so they can beat themselves with them.

INTERACTION   Like having a cheat sheet on your exam.


Arguments won't actually work, they prompt they user to make counter rationalisations. Desire is a very emotional state and the user needs to "cool down" first to be able to think clearly. It is actually about reminding them of the intention not to buy what they are not sure they want or need.

Browser Plugin

A browser plugin was created that the user can configure for their specific kind of impulse buy. Whenever the product in question is on screen, the curtains appear on the side. They highlight to the user that they have a good decision to make, and offer the opportunity to close them, to take a step back to reflect.

Three things I've learned

  1. You can design more effectively by quickly validating assumptions. I was afraid to just put stuff out there, this is something I want to work on.
  2. When designing for the long-term, you should have the time to validate. People don't carry out the behavior you want to test every single day.
  3. I am quite good at finding structure in complex things.


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