To DIY or not to DIY?

Home-made soup, hand drawn postcards, home-grown vegetables, home-made cosmetics, home-brewed beer etc etc. What is with pleasure of making something happen instead of paying somebody to make it for us? Only recently making things on your own started to be something out of ordinary. A few have time to do it. We’re a busy society, especially those who live in big cites know what I mean. Still yet some of us have this inescapable need to create things, to feel like a maker.


Malcolm Gladwell is his bestselling book “Blink” mentions different products available on the market and reasons why they made it to the top sale or quite the opposite. One the examples is a cake mixture powder which needed to be combined with water and then baked. The product wasn’t a success, and the CEO of the company was wondering why. The cake mixture was designed for busy woman, the product was created to save their time and yet still give them feeling of baking a home-made cake. Nevertheless one of the consumers who agreed to take part in the company research claimed: “it doesn’t feel like making a cake at all, it just all seem fake”. The researchers spent time on figuring out what would have made the process more natural, and the key to success was simple: let customers add one more ingredient to the mixture. Now the recipe was recreated: combine cake mixture with water and an egg. And this changed everything, the process seemed more like “real” baking now and the sales went up. Simple. The experience was redesigned to feel more like a DIY.

Adding a bit of DIY to the products is so successful because making things is in human nature. In the past we used to make ourselves most of the stuff that we hire other people to do for us nowadays. It’s a luxury to have somebody do things for us, or to buy ready made things, but there is this amazing pleasure of doing things ourselves that makes people so interested in the DIY. In my opining DIY should encoded as: I have time to make things, to create and I love it, and I aticipate the results, and I can’t wait to share it with others. Ironically DIY only started to be considered popular spare time activity because we stopped having time to do things on our own and started missing the pleasure that was attached to it.

What about the DIY and the design? Many times the consumers are asked for the feedback, or to help with designing new products or present their own designs to the company. Users are becoming designers. Check this slidshow up: It’s about produsers.


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