In the design practice and research domains, there is a growing interest for the emotional consequences of products and services. This can be observed clearly when we look at various conferences and books that focus on the emotional impact of products and at design firm mottos like “form follows emotion”. Despite the growing interest, the main issue of designing for a particular emotional consequence has largely remained uncovered. The raison d’être of this project is to develop theoretical knowledge to support designing to evoke or prevent particular emotions.
The project started with an investigation of how emotions are elicited. In this phase, appraisal theory was selected as the theoretical basis, as it focuses on the main question of interest. Appraisal theory states that emotions are elicited through automatic assessments of the personal meaning of a situation, i.e. appraisals. In this phase, the core issue was to make this body of knowledge operational for designing for emotions. To this end, a framework of appraisals underlying emotional experiences in human-product interaction was proposed.
In the second phase of the project, the focus was on the design for emotion process. The main idea was to explore ways to utilize the theoretical knowledge in the idea-generation process and to identify the needs of the designers in designing for emotions. The basic problem that was observed was the gap between the abstractness of the theory and the concreteness of the object of design. Based on this observation, a questionnaire that allows collecting examples of emotional stories was developed. This questionnaire aims to identify the causes of the collected emotional stories through a questioning sequence that was developed based on appraisal patterns of emotions. The questionnaire can be used for data collection to be used in different design projects, by asking the participants to recall particular emotions relating to those domains (e.g. driving experiences, airport experiences, in the office, lives of elderly) and provides examples pulling the theory to concrete grounds.
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