The Love Letter & Breakup Letter

The love letter and the breakup letter are two design research methods that allow people to express their genuine thoughts and emotions about a product/service.

The Love Letter communicates the magical moment when people feel a connection with their product and gives insight as to what products have a competitive advantage.

The Breakup Letter provides context to an experience with a product turned sour and insights about why they abandoned it. It also articulates what new product replaced the abandoned product.


  • use in a group setting: design workshop, group interviews, etc.
  • participants personify the product and write a letter to it for 10 minutes
  • record participants sharing their letter to take note of nonverbal cues (facial expressions, voice)
Love Letter Example
Breakup Letter Example


  • participants share unexpectedly deep and revealing accounts about the relationships people have with the products and services in their lives
  • participants put surprising care into letters, communicating sentimentality and depth
  • participants share stories situated in real-life experiences: telling of the meaning and place the product plays in one’s life
  • recording participants provide valuable insights in multidisciplinary teams
  • these research methods build empathic knowledge of product and conveys important insights to increase loyalty to the product/service



Publication for Research Methods Group 3 (Francis Park, Chris Han, Elysha Tsai, Iris Yip

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