Making Mondays Joyful

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IDEO redesigns Mondays
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Design makes all sorts of things better, easier, more efficient, cooler. But can good design take unpleasant experiences and make them joyful? Last month, we asked you for suggestions of things that could use a joy makeover. We got a lot of good ideas, from the DMV to taxes and the morning commute. We handed your suggestions over to the design firm IDEO, and they picked an ambitious challenge: to bring joy to Mondays.

IDEO devised three concepts for making Mondays more joyful, and we took a trip over to their New York offices to test them out. Check out IDEO's microsite to see more of the inspiration and design process. 


That Monday morning alarm clock. IDEO zeroed in on one of the most painful aspects of the start of the work week and designed Lolzzz, an alarm clock that wakes you with the sound of a child’s laughter. As it giggles, it rocks back and forth. You can make it laugh even louder by tickling it.

You can download your own Lolzzz giggle alarm tone below:
Learn how to set up the audio file as your phone alarm for iPhone or Android.



IDEO wants to snap us out of our Monday morning resentment that our weekend time with friends is over. Sincerely is an app that lets you send warm little thoughts to your buddies or lovers. IDEO’s prototype sends the messages through a Bluetooth version of an actual tin can-and-string…the thing kids use to share secret messages.

Send your own text-based message of gratitude by clicking here.

PopUp & Notifly

IDEO’s PopUp is a calendar app that fights that dreary calendar of appointments you face when you walk into the office every Monday morning. PopUp introduces a little joy, perhaps by reminding you that in the next meeting, this is someone you’ve never met before. It might alert you to the wonderful piece of street art near your lunch date or point out the meteor shower happening around bedtime.

And even more fun is the add-on appointment feature to PopUp called, Notifly. It’s a spherical object that sits on your desk. Instead of buzzing or beeping at you, it emits a soap bubble.

Slideshow: IDEO's Design Process

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IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm, applies a “design-based,” human-centric approach to their projects. Their New York City headquarters is an incubator for inspiration and design testing. 

( Courtesy of IDEO )

For Studio 360’s redesign challenge, IDEO was asked to bring joy to the least pleasant day of the week: Monday. This inspiration board includes sketches and concepts for three devices that create a sense of play.

( Courtesy of IDEO )

A prototype in process. These materials will become part of IDEO’s app, Sincerely.

( Courtesy of IDEO )

Sincerely is an app that encourages users to express and receive gratitude in a habitual, playful, and surprising way. One user can record an audio message using the app…

( Courtesy of IDEO )

…and a second user can receive a message of thanks in their tin-can-phone-inspired speaker. The rubber tail receives the message and wags. 

( Courtesy of IDEO )

IDEO’s second joyful solution is a twist on your dreaded alarm clock. The Lolzzz Clock rings with a custom sound: the giggle of a child. It even has a “tickle” function that causes the device to laugh even louder. 


( Courtesy of IDEO )

IDEO’s final method to bring Mondays joy is a new type of calendar. The PopUp app includes your existing appointments that float around like bubbles. When you touch one on screen, Notify highlights the potential joy for each event –– like a scenic detour nearby, or a new person you will meet. At the end of the day, you pop each bubble.  

( Courtesy of IDEO )

The PopUp app comes with a piece of hardware: the Notifly. When the app anticipates an appointment, the Notifly releases a bubble. 

( Courtesy of IDEO )