Beyond Resolving Dilemmas: Three Design Directions for Addressing Intrapersonal Concern Conflicts

Deger Ozkaramanli, Pieter Desmet, Elif Ozcan Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A potent way of designing for emotion is to design for concerns. However, people have multiple, and often, conflicting concerns. Such conflicts create emotional dilemmas: One may need to spend a Sunday afternoon working to meet a deadline, and at the same time, wish to attend a birthday party. In this paper, we consider conflicting concerns as a design opportunity: Any of the concerns can be a starting point for designing products or services that appeal to the users. However, we propose that the tension created by the conflict can be more inspiring than the involved concerns in isolation. In this paper, we present an analysis of 109 existing products through which we identify three directions these products seem to use to address users' dilemmas. These directions are resolving dilemmas, moderating dilemmas, and triggering dilemmas. We discuss the similarities and differences between these directions and their potential contribution to design fields such as designing for emotions and designing for subjective wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-91
Number of pages14
JournalDesign Issues: history/theory/criticism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • design for emotion
  • conflicting concerns
  • design with dilemmas
  • user-centered design


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