Things

Lossless

Next, Elisa developed a service called Lossless, which deals with proximity in relation to one’s belongings. The term “lossless” is a digital term referring to the ability to compress files, documents, images or video to a smaller size without losing quality. The service aims to help people get rid of the things that are weighing them down, so that they can enjoy the things that aren’t. Lossless gives users the tools to help identify the things that they do not feel are essential, but are having a hard time letting go of. Those things are catalogued and added to the user's personal digital archive, which they can access at any time. The items are then removed from the home and placed into storage. The catalogue is then used as an individual listing for each item that others can view and bid on. The user is then faced with the decision to either sell the item, or have it returned to their home. 

Elisa wanted to test the efficacy of this service and viability as an actual business, so using design-led research, she prototyped the process by going into someone’s home "and giving it the Lossless treatment."

Trappings

The learnings from the Lossless prototype led Elisa to create Trappings, which is designed to battle the internal dialogue that goes on inside our minds as we contemplate the status of our things. Trappings is there for you in times of need, like moments you are considering a new purchase. The goal is to create positive behaviors around your things by being more contemplative, rather than making mindless decisions. Elisa was also inspired by her conversation with professional organizer Amelia Meena, who said in reference to people letting go of things, “Sometimes people just need permission, or a good push.”

Trappings is a mobile application that acts like an interactive flow chart. It starts by asking you targeted questions about your things, such as “What is your favorite article of clothing?” or “What is your most prized possession?” These answers are then used as a way to elicit an emotional response. The user goes through an additional series of targeted questions for each unique item that they are having a hard time making a decision about, and the application helps them get to a response. For example, you could start by clicking on the question “Should I Buy This?” when confronted with a new purchase.

 

Users can also create a wish list in the app. It keeps track of how long each item has been on your wish list and periodically asks you if you still want it there. Trappings tracks your responses, and gives feedback on your answers. By visualizing your journey through each set of questions, the user can begin to gain insights into their behaviors and shift them accordingly. Much like Lossless, you can digitize those items you are ready to part with. 

 

Chain-Of-Custody

Lastly, Elisa created Chain-Of-Custody—a way to preserve your most valuable objects, and to communicate to your loved ones which things are most important to you and what you would like to be passed on. Think of it as a living will for your things. It consists of a series of bags, ranging from the very small (something you might put jewelry in) to the quite large (large enough for furniture to fit in). Each bag has a label on it to indicate when and where it should go. A valve at the bottom is used to remove any remaining air once the bag has been sealed. 

The purpose of Chain-Of-Custody is to put a physical layer between you and your things. It’s an opportunity to question the value of your things while you’re still here, so that the burden of doing so is not left to the ones you love...when you’re not.