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Why Design for Emotion?

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Learn the three essential qualities of any great product, the different types of stress, five reasons to Design for Emotion, how emotions become personality traits, and how positive and negative …

Learn the three essential qualities of any great product, the different types of stress, five reasons to Design for Emotion, how emotions become personality traits, and how positive and negative emotion affects attention and memory in design.

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  • Hi there and welcome to Why Design for Emotion? First off, I’d like to thank you all for being here today. And I’d like to say that in this talk, when I use the word “product”, I’m referring to whatever your product is. A website, an application, or a physical product.
  • So, a little bit about me. My name ~`is Trevor van Gorp. I’m the founder and principal consultant at Affective Design Inc. a consulting company here in Edmonton that offers user experience strategy & design servicesI’m also the co-author of the book “Design for Emotion” with Edie Adams, who is currently a senior ergonomist at Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment division.
  • I’ve also contributed commentaries, ideas, deliverables and an interview to a few books you may have heard of, including Deconstructing Product Design, Universal Methods of Design, Designing for Emotion, and Seductive Interaction Design.
  • In the last few years, I was heavily involved in the information architecture and interaction design of the City of Edmonton website
  • and the City of Edmonton of Intranet site
  • I completely redesigned the Edmonton Transit Trip Planner and
  • And I created the design for the mobile version of the ETS site.
  • More recently, I’ve lead the redesign of the Trandesecrets site for the Government of Alberta
  • and the Alberta Economic Development Authority site also for the provincial government.
  • *So why should you consider designing for emotion?After all, the ever shifting nature of emotions has led many to conclude that it’s impossible to consistently trigger emotional responses through designHowever, while it is true that conscious emotional responses tend to be inconsistent and depend largely on context, unconscious emotional responses are relatively consistent and predictable. When we use products, websites and software applications, we experience complex social and emotional responses that are no different from the responses we experience when we interact with real people (Desmet, 2002).
  • Like a three legged stool, our emotional needs are best supported when a product can fulfill three requirements. (Sanders, 1992).
  • To satisfy the needs of your clients or customers, your design must be useful. In other words, it must perform the task it was designed for.
  • It also need to be usable, or easy to understand and interact with in a predictable and reliable manner.
  • Finally, in order to attract users, your design must also be desirable. So it provides feelings of pleasure and creates attraction. Whatever your product is, it should fulfill these three requirements. Depending on the nature of the product, and the target audience you may want to focus more on the usefulness, or more on the desirability.
  • But regardless of the product, failing to fulfill users’ emotional leads to the equivalent of falling on your face.
  • So what is emotion?
  • The first distinction we can make is between duration and intention. Besides emotions, we also have other affective states like moods, sentiments and personality traits.Affective states run the range from short-term emotions to long-term personality traits. Emotions are directed at something, while moods are usually not directed at anything in particular.
  • Another way that emotion has been modeled is along two dimensions. One of these dimensions is called value. Value is the difference between pleasure and pain.
  • The other dimension measures our level of physical stimulation and is called arousal. Arousal levels determine how intensely we experience an emotion, whether it’s good or bad.
  • Arousal levels also affect performance. Some arousal actually improves performance. Cognitive psychologists call this Eustress. However, too much arousal negatively affects performance. This is called Distress.
  • To illustrate this idea, we can visualize it on this graph. As arousal levels increase performance increases. This continues up to an optimum point. After that point, as arousal continues to increase, performance decreases
  • When we combine the two dimensions of value and arousal, we get a map of the emotional landscape that can be used to describe different emotions, moods, sentiments and personality traits, and connect the different affective states to their effects on attention, behavior, and the expression of personality.
  • Now that we know a little more about emotion, let’s take a more detailed look at five reasons that emotion has such a profound influence on the success of a design:
  • Reason #1… Emotion is Experience
  • We receive information about the world from our senses.Because we don’t have enough attention to process and interpret all the information we receive each day, a lot of that information simply screened out (Davenport & Beck, 2001). The information that actually makes it into our heads is then processed and interpreted by the brain, and compared to what we already know.This information helps to determine your mental model or “map” of the world and reality. But what is it that selects what we pay attention to?Emotion is the energy that drives and directs attention. Emotion is what selects the information that actually gets into our brains and becomes part of our mental models of reality.
  • Our affective states are a continuous influence. In emotional research, this influence is called “emotional affect” (Russell, 1980). Emotional affect can be envisioned as a lens that constantly influences our perception and directs our attention. The color and focus of the lens may change depending on the quality of the emotions we’re experiencing, but the lens is always there, subtly influencing how we see the world.
  • Reason # 2… All Design is Emotional Design
  • Consider this… individuals without the capacity for emotional response are unable to make even simple cognitive decisions such as what clothes to wear in the morning (Damasio, 1994). Simple decisions rely on the emotional feedback provided by our feelings.You’re required to make hundreds of decisions each day, and emotional responses are the deciding factor in those decisions.
  • Emotional design is all around us. From things designed to be primarily useful, like simple mechanical devices.
  • To products designed to be usable and trigger feelings of confidence, like Search results.
  • To products designed to create high arousal and intense desire, like video games. All design is emotional design.
  • Reason # 3…Emotion Dominates Decision-Making
  • We tend to make decisions irrationally based on how we feel (or how we anticipate we’ll feel) and then justify those decisions rationally (Damasio, 1994). This is one reason that flattery can be such a powerful way to influence purchase decisions. This is a photo that was taken in a department store dressing room in Sweden. Nice compliment!
  • Scarcity is another way that emotions are used to influence purchase decisions. The more arousing our emotional experience is, the lower our ability to consciously evaluate the pros and cons of an offer or a situation. Amazon uses the fear of loss is to get us to buy now rather than waiting.
  • Emotions dominate decision making because they motivate us to behave. Behaviorally, pleasure is linked with the tendency to approach, and pain is linked with the tendency to avoid. Arousal levels influence how motivated we are to do either.
  • Reason #4… Emotion Commands Attention and Affects MemoryAs I mentioned earlier, the focus of attention determines which experiences enter consciousness and which ones do not.Attention is also required to make other mental events happen, such as thinking, feeling, remembering and making decisionsAttention makes work possible by selecting the pieces of information that are considered relevant from the vast amount of information that is available to our senses.
  • In Seattle Children’s Hospital, this large whale sculpture provides a welcome distraction from the environment of the hospital.
  • Information can enter our brains either because we intentionally focus our attention on it, or because our attention is unconsciously demanded.By increasing Arousal levels though loud, sudden noises, bright, high value colours, high contrast and movement, we can demand attention.We can also reduce the demands on attention by using gentle repetitive noises, subdued, low value colors, low contrast, and no movement to make things that are less important demand less attention
  • For example, notice how higher contrast, creates higher arousal and demands more attention.
  • Similarly, a brighter hue creates higher arousal and demands more attention.
  • This is because high levels of arousal push things to the front of mind in terms of attention.
  • We don’t assign equal weight to negative and positive experiences. Negative experiences tend to demand much more attention,which results in stronger memories of negative experiences. Positive experiences demand less attention and create weaker memories. Both positive and negative experiences affect memories of events that come before or after the experience, but in different ways.
  • In web apps, an unpleasant error message can cause people to remember and focus on a negative experience over the positive ones. This is one reason to try and make error messages more pleasant through the use of humour. It reduces the impact of those errors on memory.
  • So although you can use negative messages to make content more memorable, be sure to use with caution because you don’t know what aspect people will remember
  • Reason #5… Emotion Communicates Personality, Forms Relationships and Creates Meaning
  • The human brain is tuned to perceive emotions. In fact, this tuning is so ingrained that we don’t even require other people to perceive them!We unconsciously perceive the expression of emotion and personality in things in our environment, including products, interfaces and websites.Pat Jordan has said that products should be viewed as “living objects with which people have relationships” (Jordan, 2000, p. 7).
  • When it comes to things that aren’t alive, we can think of a personality trait as the long-term expression of a particular emotion.Regardless of whether you intentionally give your product a personality, people will perceive one. As Donald Norman put it: “everything has a personality, everything sends an emotional signal. Even when this was not the intention of the designer.”
  • In our relationships with other people, personality traits determine who we like and how much we trust others. Personality traits also shape our relationships with products. We tend to purchase products that seem to have personalities similar to our own, or who we aspire to be.
  • So although personality traits are complex, researchers have identified a number of traits that can be related to design. These traits are visually associated with the expression of certain emotions. A study conducted in 1924 found that people assign feeling values to lines in remarkably consistent patterns. And emotions appear as personality traits when expressed over time
  • Psychologists have identified two dimensions of personality that are readily assigned to products and interfaces by users. They are dominant vs. submissive and friendly vs. unfriendly.
  • Let’s see if we can perceive personality in some common everyday objects. Which is these two objects is friendlier?
  • How about these two? Which is these two objects is more dominant?These kinds of distinctions are related to unconscious associations from our evolutionary past.
  • We can apply these distinctions to complex physical products….Which vehicle is friendlier? Which is more dominant?
  • The same associations also hold up when applied to fonts. This message is ambiguous to emphasize the meaning that the font gives to the message. Which font is friendlier?
  • Which font is more dominant?
  • We can even apply the same distinctions to websites. Which of these two sites is friendlier? Which is more dominant?
  • When we break down the distinctions that communicate personality, we can see some obvious patterns.Relatively speaking, sharp, large, heavy, bold visual characteristics that increase arousal are associated with power and strength and communicate a dominant personality, while rounded, smaller, lighter, less bold visual characteristics that lower arousal communicate a more submissive personality.Similarly, positive characteristics that communicate a friendlier personality, while negative characteristics communicate an unfriendly personality.
  • A few years back, I created an experiment to test this idea by creating two versions of the exact same mobile interface, with the exact same content to see if I could purposefully design personality. Which of these two interfaces is friendlier? Which is more dominant? So as you can see, whether or not you’re considering the personality of the product you’re creating, your users are perceiving it. Emotion and personality are important considerations in design. We perceive them without thinking, and they affect what we pay attention to, how we behave, and what products we form relationships with.
  • I hope you’ve enjoyed this talk and if you’re interested in learning more about designing for emotion, you can download the first chapter of my book, for free at designforemotion.com. …………………….
  • Thanks very much for your attention today
  • If you’re interested in contacting me, you can reach me at any of these places. Thanks again and I hope you all enjoy your lunch!
  • A few years back, I created an experiment to test this idea by creating two versions of the exact same mobile interface, with the exact same content to see if I could purposefully design personality. Which of these two interfaces is friendlier? Which is more dominant? So as you can see, whether or not you’re considering the personality of the product you’re creating, your users are perceiving it. Emotion and personality are important considerations in design. We perceive them without thinking, and they affect what we pay attention to, how we behave, and what products we form relationships with.
  • A few years back, I created an experiment to test this idea by creating two versions of the exact same mobile interface, with the exact same content to see if I could purposefully design personality. Which of these two interfaces is friendlier? Which is more dominant? So as you can see, whether or not you’re considering the personality of the product you’re creating, your users are perceiving it. Emotion and personality are important considerations in design. We perceive them without thinking, and they affect what we pay attention to, how we behave, and what products we form relationships with.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Why Design for Emotion?Trevor van GorpPRESENTED BY:
    • 2. Trevor van GorpFounder & Principal ofUser Experience ConsultantCo-authored:Design for Emotionw/ Edie Adams2
    • 3. Contributed ideas, deliverables & interview to:3
    • 4. City of Edmonton website4
    • 5. City of Edmonton Intranet site5
    • 6. E.T.S. Trip Planner6
    • 7. E.T.S. Mobile Trip Planner7
    • 8. Tradesecrets website
    • 9. A.E.D.A website
    • 10. Why Design for Emotion?10
    • 11. Requirements For FullfillingEmotional Needs(Sanders 1992)11
    • 12. UsefulPerforms the task it was designed for(Sanders 1992)12
    • 13. UsableEasy to use and interact with(Sanders 1992)13
    • 14. DesirableProvides feelings of pleasure & creates attraction(Sanders 1992)14
    • 15. Are You Failing to Fulfill Users’ EmotionalNeeds?15
    • 16. What is Emotion?16
    • 17. Duration and Intention(Desmet 2002, Trevor van Gorp, 2012)17
    • 18. Value and Arousal(adapted from Russell, 1980) ( van Gorp and Adams 2012)18
    • 19. What is Emotion?19(adapted from Russell, 1980)( van Gorp and Adams 2012)
    • 20. Arousal and Performance• Arousal/stimulation level- Affects performance• Some Arousal (Eustress)- Positively affects performance• Too much Arousal (Distress)- Negatively affects performance(Yerkes-Dodson 1908)20
    • 21. What is Emotion?(Yerkes Dodson 1908, van Gorp and Adams 2012)21
    • 22. 22(adapted from Russell, 1980)( van Gorp and Adams 2012)
    • 23. Five Reasons toDesign for Emotion23
    • 24. Five Reasons to Design for Emotion1. Emotion is Experience24
    • 25. Emotions Determine Our Mental Models(Smith & van Gorp, 2007)25
    • 26. Emotional Affect Directs Your Attention26
    • 27. Five Reasons to Design for Emotion?1. Emotion is Experience2. All Design is Emotional Design27
    • 28. Decisions Rely on Emotional Feedback28
    • 29. Simple Mechanical Devices(iStockPhoto.com)29
    • 30. Search Results(used with permission of Microsoft)30
    • 31. Video Games(used with permission of Microsoft)31
    • 32. Five Reasons to Design for Emotion?1. Emotion is Experience2. All Design is Emotional Design3. Emotion Dominates Decision Making32
    • 33. We Make Decisions Based on How We Feel(Trevor van Gorp, 2012)33
    • 34. Scarcity Influences Purchase Decisions(courtesy of Amazon, 2012)34
    • 35. 35(adapted from Russell, 1980)( van Gorp and Adams 2012)
    • 36. Five Reasons to Design for Emotion?1. Emotion is Experience2. All Design is Emotional Design3. Emotion Dominates Decision Making4. Emotion Commands Attention and AffectsMemory36
    • 37. A Welcome Distraction(Sculpture by Martin Oliver, photo © Edie Adams)37
    • 38. Arousal Commands AttentionReduced by:• Gentle, repetitivenoises• Subdued, low valuecolors• Low contrast• Lack of movementIncreased by:• Loud, suddennoises• Bright, high valuecolors• High contrast• Movement(van Gorp, 2006) (Fehrman & Fehrman 2000)38
    • 39. ( van Gorp and Adams 2012)39
    • 40. ( van Gorp and Adams 2012)40
    • 41. 41(adapted from Russell, 1980)( van Gorp and Adams 2012)
    • 42. Value Affects MemoryPositive:• Demands lessattention• Creates weakermemories of eventsNegative:• Demands moreattention• Creates strongermemories ofevents(van Gorp, 2006) (Fehrman & Fehrman 2000)42
    • 43. Reducing the Impact of Errors(courtesy of Roxr Software 2012) 43
    • 44. Making Content More Memorable( van Gorp and Adams 2012) 44
    • 45. Five Reasons to Design for Emotion?1. Emotion is Experience2. All Design is Emotional Design3. Emotion Dominates Decision Making4. Emotion Commands Attention and AffectsMemory5. Emotion Communicates Personality, FormsRelationships, and Creates Meaning45
    • 46. (iStockPhoto.com)Your Brain is Tuned to Perceive Emotion46
    • 47. Emotion and Personality(Desmet 2002, van Gorp, 2012)47
    • 48. Personality and Relationships(Demir 2008. van Gorp and Adams 2012)48
    • 49. Adapted from (Poffenberger & Barrows, 1924) ( van Gorp and Adams 2012) 49
    • 50. ( van Gorp and Adams 2012)50
    • 51. Which Object is Friendlier?(Courtesy of Jim Leftwich)Friendlier51
    • 52. Which Object is More Dominant?(Courtesy of Jim Leftwich)Dominant52
    • 53. Which Vehicle is Friendlier? More Dominant?( van Gorp and Adams 2012)Dominant53Friendlier
    • 54. Which Font is Friendlier?( van Gorp and Adams 2012)Friendlier54
    • 55. Which Font is More Dominant?( van Gorp and Adams 2012)Dominant55
    • 56. Which Site is Friendlier? More Dominant?FriendlierDominant56
    • 57. 57
    • 58. Which UI is Friendlier? More Dominant?(van Gorp 2007) FriendlierDominant 58
    • 59. Get Chapter 1 Freehttp://designforemotion.com59
    • 60. Thanks for your attention(iStockPhoto.com, van Gorp & Adams 2012)60
    • 61. • Contact •Trevor van Gorp, BFA, M.E.Desaffectivedesign.com@affectivedesignca.linkedin.com/in/trevorvangorpPRESENTED BY:WEB:TWITTER:LINKEDIN:
    • 62. References62Demîr, E. (2008). The Field of Design and Emotion:Concepts, Arguments, Tools and Current Issues. METU JFA 1(1), 135.Desmet, P. R. (2002). Designing emotions. Delft: Pieter Desmet.Fehrman, K. R., & Fehrman, C. (2000). Color: The secret influence. UpperSaddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Poffenberger, A. T., & Barrows, B. E. (1924). The feeling value of lines.Journal of Applied Psychology, 8, 187–205.http://wwe.com | http://marthstewart.comRussell, J. A. (1980). “A circumplex model of affect.” Journal of Personalityand Social Psychology, 39, 1161–1178.Smith G., and van Gorp, T. (2007) Comcast Experience Map - Social Gamer.van Gorp, T. and Adams E. (2012). Design for Emotion. Morgan Kaufmann -Elsevier, Waltham, MA.Yerkes, R. M., & Dodson, J. D. (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus torapidity of habit-formation. Journal of Comparative Neurology andPsychology, 18, 459–482.
    • 63. References63SITE URLShttp://edmonton.cahttp://etstripplanner.edmonton.cahttp://m.etstripplanner.edmonton.cahttp:.//tradesecrets.alberta.cahttp://wwe.com | http://marthstewart.com