Mood Granularity and Rich Descriptions
Enabling Design Communication and Empathy of 21 Mood States

Given the significant impact of mood on happiness and subjective well-being, there have been many design works intended to measure, express and/or influence users’ moods. However very limited research effort has been given to understanding mood per se from a perspective of design. Mood-focused design research confronts two primary obstacles: 1) the absence of design knowledge and tools that help design researchers and practitioners acquire sufficient mood granularity, and 2) the unclear free-floating nature of mood experiences that hampers mood-focused empathy building in the design processes. In order to overcome these two obstacles, this LabTalk introduces a design tool that contains a set of 21 commonly experienced mood states. Each of the mood states is verbally described through a componential approach from six integrated aspects and the typical situations in which it is likely to occur, and also illustrated by a collection of carefully selected four pictures. This tool is an outcome of two parallel studies that were designed to identify, differentiate and describe a verity of fine-grained mood states from a top-down and a bottom-up approach complementarily. Study 1 initially identified 18 mood states through examining 134 mood words that were extracted from an over-inclusive list of 411 potential mood words. The initial descriptions of these mood states were generated through a series of researcher introspection workshops. Study 2 validated and enriched the results of Study 1 through analysing 159 concurrently collected descriptive mood samples contributed by a group of 8 co-researchers in a 2-week mood dairy exercise, and also two following focus groups. This design tool, as mood communication media as well as a foundation of human-centric design knowledge on mood, would support a systematic approach to effective mood-focused design practice and research.

Haian Xue is currently working at Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering as a postdoctoral researcher on the ‘Design for Mood Regulation’ project funded by NWO. The overall aim of this research project is to develop a theory that details the mechanisms that underlie mood experiences in human-design interaction and explains how design-supported mood regulation can foster human well-being.

Studio Show
Wednesday May 14, 2018
16:00 – 17:00