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Title: A design methodology for emotional interface
Authors: Tzvetanova, Sylvia Assenova
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: Positive emotions can increase creativity and learning and they are being increasingly considered in product design as important attributes of designs. This research aims to develop a design methodology for emotional interface, where the interface is able to recognize user's emotions and respond with changes in its design to support a positive emotional state. The goal of this research is to develop a framework for adaptive interface, which supports the users with positive emotion eliciting elements. Positive emotions were reported to increase creativity and learning. A symbolic approach to improving the informational process in interfaces is used. The topic is motivated by previous research in cognitive psychology that has suggested the core role emotions play in human cognition. It has been reported that emotions are essential for rational decision making, creativity, memorization, communication, and intelligence. In the design field emotions play an important role as the next level of efficiency of artifacts from a natural evolution of a useful, usable and satisfying design to an affective, efficient and gratifying design. There is a need for modeling emotional appraisal in interaction with interfaces, and to present to the system how to understand the user's emotion and be able to respond to this knowledge accordingly. In relation to responding for a positive emotional appraisal a challenge for the field is guidelines for desirable Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) to support the users emotionally. To solve this problem, several stages of research were undertaken to understand the process of emotion appraisal: First, a cognitive theory of emotion is investigated, which explains the mechanism eliciting emotion and makes it possible to interpret the process of emotional appraisal to an interface, which is not obvious and largely theoretical. This cognitive theory is adapted from psychology, which provides a database on the existing emotion appraisal theories. The contribution of this research is to translate the existing knowledge on emotions by identifying possible appraisal mechanisms in interfaces. Some other knowledge areas contributed to the initial hypothesis on design elements eliciting emotions in graphic interfaces are semiotics and environmental psychology. Second, this psychological theory is applied in a HCI context, where the user is taken outside a typical social context and interacts with an inanimate object such as a graphic interface. The cause and effect of emotions are explained and observed in graphic interfaces from a design perspective. The developed emotional interaction model is further investigated with qualitative research in interviews with Asian experts in the design field. Two branching hierarchies to illustrate the model are defined as OutSite factors (Outside the web Site), and concern the symptoms of emotions related to the user, and InSite elements (Inside the web Site), which describe the emotion-eliciting factors in an interface that presents the causes of emotions. Third, to further clarify the findings, a demonstration in the form of a storytelling web interface is developed to visualize the design process and finally evaluate the performance of the system with Asian users. The research proposes two main functions of online systems that are used to build this kind of interaction: 1) the interaction styles of the user can give clues about their emotion appraised from the interface, and 2) the design elements of the interface are able to influence the user's emotion. This research combines expertise in graphic design, interaction design, web design, human psychology, and cognition to identify the design model of emotional appraisal in graphic interfaces. The methodology of the thesis combines several design research practices. Previous knowledge on emotion is critically reviewed to identify the theoretical basis of emotional appraisal. Qualitative research is conducted in the form of interviews with design experts to identify unknown variables and in this case the emotion eliciting conditions in web interfaces. The outcomes of this research are demonstrated in an implementation with the goal to visualize the emotional scenarios suggested in the interviews. Finally the methodology included quantitative research in the form of statistical analysis of user's emotional responses from the developed implementation. The method used to gather the user's responses is an online survey distributed to Asian users. The results are investigated with the ANOVA statistical approach to compare the emotional responses of the participants. The outcome of this thesis is a design methodology for emotionally adaptive graphic interface to the user's emotion. Also, it proposes a method for emotion evaluation in interfaces. A demonstration based on the design methodology developed in this work is evaluated and the results show that the users find the interface designed according to the model more acceptable than a user-friendly plain interface.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Design -- Psychological aspects.
Design, Industrial -- Psychological aspects.
Pages: xvii, 199 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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