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Emotional Interaction Design (Giles Colborne)


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Given at UXPA-DC's User Focus Conference, Oct. 19, 2012

Given at UXPA-DC's User Focus Conference, Oct. 19, 2012

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  • 1. Imagine what it must feel like togrow up in a slum like this.This kind of building was thrownup all over Britain in the 1950s.To create this, you’d need to haveno sense of the emotions of thepeople living here.Welcome to emotionalinteraction design. @gilescolborne
  • 2. Emotional interaction designGiles Colborne Before we talk about interaction design, we should talk about emotion in design in general. 2
  • 3. When you look at this pictureyour stress levels will drop andyour ability to concentrate rises(see for example, At Home withNature: Effects of ‘Greenness’ onChildren’s Cognitive Functioning”by Nancy Wells, Environment andBehavior, 2000). But emotional design is about more than sticking pictures of trees on your website. We respond to far deeper patterns in nature. @gilescolborne
  • 4. Like the beautiful arrangementof seeds in this flower. @gilescolborne
  • 5. And the same arrangement ofleaves in this succulent. A spiralbased on the golden ratio. @gilescolborne
  • 6. The golden ratio is the ratio oftwo lines that fir this equation. a b a+b = a a b @gilescolborne
  • 7. You can use these lines to draw aseries of squares... a b @gilescolborne
  • 8. Which, in turn, define a spiral.Which is what we saw in thoseplants. But the Golden Ratiocrops up throughout nature. @gilescolborne
  • 9. Like... the bones in your hand.The Golden Ratio defines oursense of perfect proportionand beauty. @gilescolborne
  • 10. Which is why people have beenusing it to create beautifulthings for centuries. Peoplejudge beautiful things to begood, true, honest, simple. Itwould be a cool idea if someoneused this in web design. @gilescolborne
  • 11. @gilescolborne
  • 12. Many of our notions of beautyare hard wired into our brains.Like the baby face effect - peopleassociate child-like features withinnocence, honesty, friendliness. @gilescolborne
  • 13. And Aaron Walter points out inEmotional Design that he’s usedthis to good effect throughouthis design. Most obviously inMailChimp’s mascot. makingboring email newsletter adminseem fun and friendly. @gilescolborne
  • 14. Of course we see faceseverywhere. But this doesn’tmean ‘design everything to theGolden Ratio’ or ‘put faces oneverything’. Rather, it means youmust ‘understand the importanceof line and form in design’. Okay, that was 2,500 years of art and mathematics and industrial design in a dozen slides. @gilescolborne
  • 15. Hey, good looking –what about interaction? But this is design as object what about design as interaction? @gilescolborne
  • 16. This guy’s interaction with hiscomputer is certainly emotional. @gilescolborne
  • 17. Something about computersbrings out the devil in us. @gilescolborne
  • 18. In response, some interaction designers act like Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. They see emotion as the enemy. But I think that misunderstands the importance of emotions. @gilescolborne
  • 19. AI pioneer MarvinMinsky sees emotions as‘ways to think’. Emotionstune the machinery ofthe brain.Even a ‘negative’ emotionlike anger is useful. Itgives us the energy toaddress a threat andsends out social signalsthat warn others we’dbetter get our way. @gilescolborne
  • 20. People without emotionsare less effectivethinkers. AntonioDamasio describes onepatient, Elliot, withabove average IQ butfrontal lobe damage thatmeans his emotions areimpaired making him akind of Mr Spock. When faced with a ‘rational’ task like scheduling an appointment, he endlessly weighs and compares choices. He doesn’t feel boredom, frustration or embarrassment. He takes for ever. Emotions are vital to decision making. @gilescolborne
  • 21. This design from HP isoverly rational. The focuson numbers andspecifications flips usinto rational evaluationmode. Can I find acomputer that weighs 10grammes less? Can I finda computer that’s 3 mmthinner? We findourselves in a rationalspiral.A better approach wouldbe to connect on a gutlevel - as light as ahardback book would tellmost people what theyneed to know. @gilescolborne
  • 22. This classic ad shows achick being put in aheatproof box... andboiled for what seemslike ages before it’srevealed alive and well.Why make your audienceso anxious?Because we rememberstressful events. They’replaying with ouremotions to fix the ideaof the heatproof box inour memory. @gilescolborne
  • 23. I’ve found that when I askpeople about delightfulexperiences, theyremember onesassociated with stressfulevents.Like dropping your iPod –and discovering that itpaused automaticallywhen the headphonespopped out.How delightfully clever.How memorable.So I look for stress pointswhen I design because Iknow users will rememberwhat my products donext. @gilescolborne
  • 24. Why do we like to watchhorror movies? Becausethey help us extend ouremotional range andunderstand ouremotions.Emotions are importantto people. They’re linkedto our strongestmemories and the mostmeaningful events in ourlives. What if we accept thereSo we’re right to reject will be ups and downs inthe Nurse Ratched view the relationship betweenthat we should eliminate humans and computers?emotion. What if we try to give our designs the emotional intelligence to ride those waves? @gilescolborne
  • 25. Marvin Minsky wants tocreate artificialemotional intelligence bybuilding an artificialbrain. Awesome!But that’s a few decadesaway. Meanwhile, I havea website to design.So are there ways I cancheat? @gilescolborne
  • 26. Back to this guy. Theword that describes himis ‘postal’.So maybe we can learnhow to deal with thissituation by talking tosome experts. @gilescolborne
  • 27. These folks trainnegotiators to deal withcrisis situations. Maybe FBIthey can help us. @gilescolborne
  • 28. Behavioural Change Stairway Model They use this model to get through hostage negotiations. It recognises that if you want to get to ‘behaviour behaviour change’ you need to start with ‘listening’ and ‘empathy’. change influence rapport empathy active listening @gilescolborne
  • 29. Clearly his computer isn’tlistening to him.When interfaces don’tlisten we get angry. @gilescolborne
  • 30. It looks like you’regiving a presentation Get help with giving the presentation Just give the presentation without help. Don’t show this tip Clippy has all the elements that we’re supposed to include in emotional design. He’s again informal yet direct. He’s cute looking. I’ve always thought there was a lot of good thinking behind him. But people hated him. Why? Because he’s so bad at listening. @gilescolborne
  • 31. My hero Clifford Nassredesigned Clippy verysimply to listen andempathise.When Clippy offeredadvice, he would ask ‘wasthat useful?’. If peoplesaid ‘no’ Clippy would say‘that really ticks me off.Let’s tell the folks atMicrosoft I need to bereprogrammed.’ andClippy would encouragethem to write in and venttheir dissatisfaction.And it worked: usersliked Clippy. Clifford Nass @gilescolborne
  • 32. When you watch thisvideo, you notice thatthere are lots of signsthat things are goingwrong. Our guy begins bygiving the screen a hardstare. Then he seems toswear. He slaps thekeyboard. And then hereally starts to lose it.A more sophisticatedcomputer might havepicked up on thosewarning signs and saveditself a beating. @gilescolborne
  • 33. In Affective Computing,Rosalind Pickard suggeststhat computers could useinput from many sensors(facial recognition, audioinput and so on) andpattern matching todetect users’ emotions.She recognises this iscomplex (even peopleoccasionally misreademotions). We’re a fewyears away from this.But Clifford Nass showsus that listening can be assimple as saying ‘how amI doing?’. @gilescolborne
  • 34. The FBI knows there’s a right way to empathise. Don’t say ‘I know how you feel’. It’s too easy for other person to say ‘Oh no you don’t’.Wrong: Instead, show you care and create opportunities for dialogue. You don’t need sophisticated technology for this. In fact,‘I know how you feel’ it’s been around since the 1960s.Right:‘I’ve never been in your situationbefore, but I imagine you must befeeling very depressed and lonely’ @gilescolborne
  • 35. Eliza is a computer ‘therapist’ that asks users how they feel and uses pattern matching to respond and draw them out.ELIZA It’s crude, but good enough to pass a basic Turing test - some people think Eliza’s answers come from a real person. @gilescolborne
  • 36. FBI negotiators know they need to project the rightBe positive, upbeat personality.Reassure hostage-taker that Now imagine if you hooked up Eliza’s pattern matching to an online database andthings will work out well gave it an upbeat personality with a bit of edge to it.Be credible That sounds familiar...Show you understand theirreasons but don’t be too eager toplease @gilescolborne
  • 37. Siri is an evolution of Eliza’spattern matching approachbut with better jokes.That creates a personalityand a basis for empathy. @gilescolborne
  • 38. Clifford Nass ran anexperiment where he gaveparticipants blue wrist bandsand asked them to completetasks a computer.For half the participants heput ablue border on thecomputer screen and said‘you and the computer aretheblue team’. For the other half,he gave the computer a greenborderand said ‘you’re theblue guy working on thegreen computer’.When the colours matched,people tried harder andthought the computer wassmarter.Building rapport doesn’trequire complex technology.Just good psychology. @gilescolborne
  • 39. Excellent. We’re half way upthe FBI’s behaviouralchange model and we’ve nothad to build an artificialbrain.Listen and empathise @gilescolborne
  • 40. The FBI has a lot to tell usabout how to handleemotions that arise fromsituation.But sometimes conflictarises from personalitydifferences. @gilescolborne
  • 41. For managing relationships,this book wasrecommended to me.I love it because it centreson a simple model. (Whichwe can use when we’redesigning interactions.) @gilescolborne
  • 42. You have to understand Task focuspeople’s disposition(passive - aggressive) andmotivation (task -relationship). It can’t be done Tank Passive Aggressive Yes person Think they know it all Relationship focus @gilescolborne
  • 43. In the centre is the ‘normal zone’. At the Task focusedges of the graph are extreme typeswho can be difficult to get along with. Whiner Tank Passive Aggressive Yes person Think they know it all Relationship focus @gilescolborne
  • 44. What I find normal and acceptable will Task focusbe different from what you find normaland acceptable.Everyone is someone’s difficult person. Whiner TankWe need to tune our behaviour andresponses to get the best out of thoseconflicts. Passive Aggressive Yes person Think they know it all Relationship focus @gilescolborne
  • 45. And the secret to that is understanding Task focusthe intention that drives thosepersonality types. Get it right Get it done Passive Aggressive Get along Get appreciated Relationship focus @gilescolborne
  • 46. Maja Mataric has built socially assistive robots that coach stroke victims through their physiotherapy. She tried tuning the coaching to each patient’s personality. The robots would tell extroverts ‘Come on, try harder’. But introverts would be told ‘I know it’s hard, but it’s for your own good’. And... it worked! Patients preferred the robots that were tuned to their personality and tried harder for them.Maja Mataric @gilescolborne
  • 47. You don’t need to give your users apersonality test before they start. Youcould learn their personality in thesame way that Pandora learns yourtaste in music. @gilescolborne
  • 48. And you might even be able to pickup information about users’personality from specialist services. @gilescolborne
  • 49. Task focus Get it right Get it donePassive Aggressive Get along Get appreciated Relationship focus @gilescolborne
  • 50. If you need to be appreciated, you’ll likethe fact that TripAdvisor tells you whenpeople have read your reviews.If you’re a ‘get it done’ kind of person,you might feel this was unnecessary andspammy. @gilescolborne
  • 51. And if you’re the kind of personwho needs to get along, you’dappreciate this error message thatsays ‘It’s my fault’. (Personally, Ifind it rather craven.) @gilescolborne
  • 52. Task focus So instead of designing fixed patterns of behaviour, maybe we should design flexible patterns that adjust to users’ disposition. Get it right Get it donePassive Aggressive Get along Get appreciated Relationship focus @gilescolborne
  • 53. Behavioural Change Stairway Model And we’ve seen how a model like this can help us think about behaviour listening, empathising and building rapport, rather than change rushing towards outcomes. influence rapport empathy active listening @gilescolborne
  • 54. A lot of the discussion of emotionaldesign today centres around ideas of‘brand’. And on old-fashioned, static,monolithic brands.But I hope I’ve shown you that we can domuch more.We can create a flow of emotions andmore dynamic, adaptable personalitiesfor our designs.We’re designing responsive web layouts,why not responsive interaction rules? @gilescolborne
  • 55. If we put some emotional intelligence into theinteractions we design, we can disarm conflict,create richer, more memorable experiences,and improve performance for our users.The future may bring us better ways of readingemotions.But the tools we need to get started arealready in our hands.Let’s use them. @gilescolborne
  • 56. By the way, Samsung just patented this. Sosoon your smartphone will be able to use itscamera to detect your emotion - one of six‘universal’ facial expressions that correspondto common emotions. @gilescolborne
  • 57. Researchers have identified six orseven universal emotions. But noteveryone who sees these photoshas the same experience. @gilescolborne
  • 58. When you see the fear in others, youramygdala lights up. You experience stress. Thatempathy stops you from wanting to dominateothers by manipulating them.Psychopaths don’t have this response. Theybecome charming manipulators.This is the final part of emotional intelligence:empathy. Without it you’re just a manipulator. @gilescolborne
  • 59. Which brings us back to this. Tom Cordelltracked down the architects of the 1950s andasked them what they thought they weredoing. @gilescolborne
  • 60. We were trying to build heaven on earth Their dream of building tower blocks surrounded by parks was subverted by the money men who used the space to cram in more roads, shops and tower blocks. We should learn from their lesson. @gilescolborne
  • 61. We need to make sure that we, the companieswe deal with, and the systems we create feelfor the users we’re serving.If we don’t we’ll end up using these powerfultools to manipulate them.And we’ll be no better than the architects of1950s Britain who, like us, thought they werecreating a better world. @gilescolborne
  • 62. What are emotions and how Still the go-to text on using emotions Applying the triune brain model How law enforcement agenciescould we create them in a in computing. to the problem of creating negotiate in highly charged,machine? emotionally resonant designs. criminal situations.A guide to recognising A refutation of the idea that How your mood - and even your Applying theories of story toemotionally charged relationships emotions have no place in higher facial expressions can affect your interaction designand to getting the best from thought. experience of a situation.them. @gilescolborne