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Actually, not that bad

A public experience that helps alleviate pains from regret


How might we introduce a new regret-relieving methodology to people in a more acceptive way?


Regret is inevitable, and it is something we’ve all experienced; learning how to overcome regret becomes an important lesson to human beings. According to two brilliant psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Downward Counterfactual Thinking , a thinking methodology that focuses on situations that are worse than reality, can effectively relieve pains from regret. Simply ask your self: “How could it have been worse?”. Research shows this thinking methodology kills the negative feelings associated with regret, and turn disappointment into gratitude.

However, although this methodology is great, approaching and asking “Could it be worse?” to someone who is having a bad mood seems rude and abrupt. So, In order to create a more comfortable environment, I put intriguing props on the street. In order to make people feel more acceptive about this topic, I designed a set of prompts to reframe the question, bringing people into a different context.

Scope: 10 Weeks

Categories: Experience Design

Role: Solo project. Framing questions, Ideation, prototyping, User experience design.

Tools: Illustrator and hands.



Studies show that you should ask yourself this question:

Ask yourself, “How could it have been worse?”

This is what researchers call a “downward counterfactual thinking.”

Another research also shows that downward counterfactual thinking benefits us by improving our mood, further to killing the pain after we’ve learned lessons from something we did wrong.

This thinking kills the negative feelings associated with regret. Turn disappointment into gratitude.

Take “I can’t believe I crashed my car. I’m so stupid.” and turn it into “I’m so lucky I didn’t die in the accident. How wonderful!”

(Resources are linked above)


However, it's so abrupt to ask someone who is having a bad mood "Could it be worse?"

How might we deliver this thinking methodology to people without being offensive?


To address this problem,

I changed the way to approach people; I designed a public experience.


Creative approach: Progressive prompts


Experience video



1. Some people don't even know their regret

2. Some people don't even have regret

3. The older the people are, the less chance the people have regret.

4. Some people don't want their regret to be revealed.

5. Age between 16-60 has a higher chance to have regret.