To help people flourish, technology should be useful, easy, pleasing, and supportive. What does that mean?
Tech can actively support aspects of well-being such as positive emotions, motivation and engagement, self-awareness, mindfulness, resilience, gratitude, empathy, compassion, and altruism.
The emerging field of expertise around designing technology to actively support well-being is known as “positive computing“.
Like humans who offer psychological support, such as psychotherapists and coaches, tech that offers psychological support must earn a high level of trust, especially regarding privacy, security, and intended psychological effects.
An important way to earn and deserve trust is to give the community of users the right to verify, and even change, what tech actually does. Free / libre / open source software (FLOSS) does this, making it well suited to positive computing.
Tech that offers a pleasing user experience facilitates positive emotions, thereby contributing to flourishing.
Tech that is easy to use helps people flourish by triggering feelings of competence, control, and satisfaction, and letting them spend more of their time and energy on activities they care about, and less on frustrating, confidence-undermining, and time-consuming troubleshooting.
One way tech can help people flourish is by doing things that have real value to users, serving their overall best interests. Tech can easily fail to do this, either by aiming to be addictive rather than to provide real value, or by being designed without real understanding of what users want and need.