A Psychological Ownership Based Design Tool to Close the Resource Loop in Product Service Systems

Authors Dirk Ploos van Amstel, Lenneke Kuijer, Remko van der Lugt, Berry Eggen
Published in Sustainability
Publication date 1 June 2022
Research groups Co-design
Type Article


Closing the loop of products and materials in Product Service Systems (PSS) can be approached by designers in several ways. One promising strategy is to invoke a greater sense of ownership of the products and materials that are used within a PSS. To develop and evaluate a design tool in the context of PSS, our case study focused on a bicycle sharing service. The central question was whether and how designers can be supported with a design tool, based on psychological ownership, to involve users in closing the loop activities. We developed a PSS design tool based on psychological ownership literature and implemented it in a range of design iterations. This resulted in ten design proposals and two implemented design interventions. To evaluate the design tool, 42 project members were interviewed about their design process. The design interventions were evaluated through site visits, an interview with the bicycle repairer responsible, and nine users of the bicycle service. We conclude that a psychological ownership-based design tool shows potential to contribute to closing the resource loop by allowing end users and service provider of PSS to collaborate on repair and maintenance activities. Our evaluation resulted in suggestions for revising the psychological ownership design tool, including adding ‘Giving Feedback’ to the list of affordances, prioritizing ‘Enabling’ and ‘Simplification’ over others and recognize a reciprocal relationship between service provider and service user when closing the loop activities.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Sustainability
Year and volume 2022 14
Key words psychological ownership, product service systems, design performance, closing the loop, repair & maintenance, user involvement
Digital Object Identifier 10.3390/su14106207

Dirk Ploos van Amstel