Emotional Response Testing

28 Feb 2008 - 1:04pm
6 years ago
3 replies
1481 reads
Jason Richardson
2007

Hi everyone,
Our User Experience team at work is looking to begin Emotive or Emotional
response testing on our internal web applications in the near future. We're
starting to do some research on the topic to build out our methodology
around this type of testing. So, does anyone have pointers on the subject,
any presentations you've seen that are worth checking out, maybe some
methodology that people are familiar with that could provide some insight?
Is anyone out there now using a version of the Repertory Grid, Emotional
Heuristics or just a great way of capturing user satisfaction? I'm also
interested in reporting these findings and how they're accepted by
management/clients.

Thanks for the input!
Jason

Comments

28 Feb 2008 - 7:48pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Hello Jason,

The new book that was mentioned a few weeks ago, Product Experience
(Schifferstein & Hekkert, 2008) has two sections devoted to the
Emotional Experience.

The repertory grid is good at getting at underlying dimensions of
product experience from the user's perspective rather than the user
experience designer's perspective.

There is an earlier book out by Patrick Jordan that might prove useful:

Jordan, P. W. (2000). Designing pleasurable products: An introduction
to the new human factors. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.
Jordan describes how there are three levels of human needs (relative
to consumer products): functionality, usability, and pleasure. The
first two levels are the primary focus of most product teams. Jordan
argues that we must go beyond usability and design pleasurable
products. He defines four pleasures: physio-pleasure, socio-pleasure,
psycho-pleasure, and ideo-pleasure. After describing these pleasures,
Jordan gives some examples of pleasurable products and methods for
designing pleasurable products.

You might want to look up the work of Rosalind Picard at MIT. She has
been researching affective computing for some time and put out a book
in 1997. You can find later work if you dig around MIT. This might be
a bit tangential, but there might be references that would be helpful.

Picard, R. W. (1997). Affective computing. Cambridge, MA: Wiley.
Affective Computing is a book about how to imbue computers with
emotion. The author's thesis is that emotion can have a positive
effect on decision-making. This book reviews the literature on
theories of emotion and the impact of emotion on decision making.
Picard describes work by Daniel Goleman who wrote the book Emotional
Intelligence, Patti Maes, a strong voice for agent technology, Reeves
and Nass, authors of the Media Equation, and other prominent
psychologists delving into the importance of emotion in human-human
and human-computer interactions.

Chauncey

On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 1:04 PM, Jason Richardson <jasonr44240 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Our User Experience team at work is looking to begin Emotive or Emotional
> response testing on our internal web applications in the near future. We're
> starting to do some research on the topic to build out our methodology
> around this type of testing. So, does anyone have pointers on the subject,
> any presentations you've seen that are worth checking out, maybe some
> methodology that people are familiar with that could provide some insight?
> Is anyone out there now using a version of the Repertory Grid, Emotional
> Heuristics or just a great way of capturing user satisfaction? I'm also
> interested in reporting these findings and how they're accepted by
> management/clients.
>
> Thanks for the input!
> Jason
> ________________________________________________________________
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7 Mar 2008 - 9:02am
Art Swanson
2008

Hi Jason - I've done a fair amount of research into this problem and I think
it is important to understand the complexity of emotional response.
Overwhelmingly, discrete specific emotional response is transient and
dependent on a number of external factors. In other words the user's
specific emotional response to your design may vary over time based on if
they are having a good day, how their drive over to the office was, if they
are having any disagreements with their significant other, etc. All of
these things are external and can impact the emotional measurement that you
capture from the user. So the macroscopic emotional response to a product
is a very difficult thing to capture and leverage as design input. You can,
however consider the structure of the user's emotional response and use that
to drive some data collection. There is an excellent book by Del Coates
called "Watches tell more than time" that does an excellent job of setting a
framework for understanding why people have emotional responses to
products. The short story is that novelty generates arousal in our
emotional system and the valence of that emotion is dictated by how quickly
our brains can come to terms with the novel stimulus. If we see something
new and it immediately "makes sense" to us, we have a positive emotional
experience, but if we see something novel and have trouble understanding it,
then we have a negative emotional experience. The key then is evaluating
how easily users can make sense of your novel design. You can use the
semantic differential to determine which designs have a similar semantic
profile, or you can use clustering and grouping exercises to determine the
relationship between your new product and existing products in that space.
And from that data you can infer a positive or negative emotional response
to your design, as well as to have some information about how to adapt the
design to "improve" the emotional response.

Again, this is an exceedingly complex problem, and this is an
oversimplification of the problem, but hopefully it will give you some more
ideas...

--Art

10 Mar 2008 - 9:51am
Benjamin Ho
2007

Here's a webcast from HFI talking about the emotional components of
design:
http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/pastwebcast.asp#PETscan

I've conducted a few sessions using a simple emotional response
chart for the users to indicate their feelings during certain tasks.
The resultant feeling can be correlated when you review the session
footage - it requires a lot of observation and speculation so it's
not 100% fool proof.

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