Designing Affective Loop Experiences

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, 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.

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 - feeling it.

To allow for Affective Loop experiences with or through a computer system, the user need 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.


Respondent: Petra Sundström

Opponent: Assistant Professor John Zimmerman, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, The School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University

Ordförande/Huvudhandledare: professor Kristina Höök, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap, Stockholms universitet

Betygsnämnd: professor Jonas Löwgren, Konst, Kultur och kommunikation, Malmö Högskola samt gästprofessor Henrik Artman, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap och dekanus Gudrun Dahl, Socialantropologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet

Tid: fredag 12 november, kl 13:00

Plats: DSV, Forum, Sal C, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista



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