Over the last few years, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow has become a popular topic within design circles. Many designers and information architects now view the psychological state of flow as a desirable goal for the end users of the products and interfaces they create. User experience professionals now have a clear target around which to center their design efforts.
Although the characteristics of the flow experience are well defined in psychological circles, there are a number of questions that have not been addressed with regard to this psychological state.
• How do users’ emotional states affect the creation of flow?
• What are the differences between novice and experienced users when it come
to creating flow?
• How do differences in the goals (i.e. experiential vs. goal directed) of users affect the creation of flow?
This presentation will explore the role of emotions in determining the creation of flow. This includes the role that emotional states play in affecting how we focus attention, learn, process and use information.
The creation of flow is ultimately determined by a combination of our individual skill levels, the challenge provided by the task at hand, and the level of motivation we have to complete that task.
Understanding how to enhance users’ experiences by creating flow states allows us to tailor the design of products, websites and software to different user groups with different levels of skill. This is important because products that can elicit flow tend to create higher levels of loyalty amongst users.
Viewers will learn about the underlying causes, characteristics and consequences of flow. They will also learn how flow is related to emotional design, and how to take user goals into consideration when designing for flow.