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In Situ Informants Exploring an emotional Mobile Meassaging System in Their Everyday Practice
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2007 (English)In: International journal of human-computer studies, ISSN 1071-5819, E-ISSN 1095-9300, Vol. 65, no 4, 388-403 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We have designed and built a mobile emotional messaging system named eMoto. With it, users can compose messages through using emotion-signalling gestures as input, rendering a message background of colours, shapes and animations expressing the emotional content. The design intent behind eMoto was that it should be engaging physically, intellectually and socially, and allow users to express themselves emotionally in all those dimensions, involving them in an affective loop experience. In here, we describe the user-centred design process that lead to the eMoto system, but focus mainly on the final study where we let five friends use eMoto for two weeks. The study method, which we name in situ informants, helped us enter and explore the subjective and distributed experiences of use, as well as how emotional communication unfolds in everyday practice when channelled through a system like eMoto. The in situ informants are on the one hand users of eMoto, but also spectators, that are close friends who observe and document user behaviour. Design conclusions include the need to support the sometimes fragile communication rhythm that friendships require—expressing memories of the past, sharing the present and planning for the future. We saw that emotions are not singular state that exist within one person alone, but permeates the total situation, changing and drifting as a process between the two friends communicating. We also gained insights into the under-estimated but still important physical, sensual aspects of emotional communication. Experiences of the in situ informants method pointed to the need to involve participants in the interpretation of the data obtained, as well as establishing a closer connection with the spectators

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2007. Vol. 65, no 4, 388-403 p.
Keyword [en]
Affective interaction; Evaluation method; User study; Mobile application
National Category
Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-12115DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2006.11.013OAI: diva2:178635
Available from: 2008-01-17 Created: 2008-01-17 Last updated: 2010-10-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Designing Affective Loop Experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing Affective Loop Experiences
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a lack of attention to the emotional and the physical aspects of communication in how we up to now have been approaching communication between people in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). As designers of digital communication tools we need to consider altering the underlying model for communication that has been prevailing in HCI: the information transfer model. Communication is about so much more than transferring information. It is about getting to know yourself, who you are and what part you play in the communication as it unfolds. It is also about the experience of a communication process, what it feels like, how that feeling changes, when it changes, why and perhaps by whom the process is initiated, altered, or disrupted. The idea of Affective Loop experiences in design aims to create new expressive and experiential media for whole users, embodied with the social and physical world they live in, and where communication not only is about getting the message across but also about living the experience of communication - feeling it.

An Affective Loop experience is an emerging, in the moment, emotional experience where the inner emotional experience, the situation at hand and the social and physical context act together, to create for one complete embodied experience. The loop perspective comes from how this experience takes place in communication and how there is a rhythmic pattern in communication where those involved take turns in both expressing themselves and standing back interpreting the moment.

To allow for Affective Loop experiences with or through a computer system, the user needs to be allowed to express herself in rich personal ways involving our many ways of expressing and sensing emotions – muscles tensions, facial expressions and more. For the user to become further engaged in interaction, the computer system needs the capability to return relevant, either diminishing, enforcing or disruptive feedback to those emotions expressed by the user so that the she wants to continue express herself by either strengthening, changing or keeping her expression.

We describe how we used the idea of Affective Loop experiences as a conceptual tool to navigate a design space of gestural input combined with rich instant feedback. In our design journey, we created two systems, eMoto and FriendSense.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Departmen of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2010. 117 p.
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 10-008
, SICS Dissertation Series, ISSN 1101-1335 ; 53
Design, Interaction, Communication, Mobile, Emotion, Body, Digital material
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43376 (URN)978-91-7447-142-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-11-12, sal C, Forum 100, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2010-10-21 Created: 2010-10-11 Last updated: 2010-10-12Bibliographically approved

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