Design Principles for Affectibility



Free communication and interpretation of affect

Users should be able to communicate their feelings and emotions. 

Designers could make features available to allow users to express that. 

Rather than making systems that automatically recognize emotions, 

designers concerned with affective responses should leave to users the immensity of possible
 interpretations that the expression of emotional and affective responses may suggest.


avoid predetermining meanings (of signs, words, images, etc.) and 

let affect be freely expressed and interpreted; 

avoid automatic identification of affect; 

make available features to allow communication among users.

Pride in social values and local culture

Designers should consider users’ social context, including their values and culture. 

Elements from users’ culture and values should be taken into consideration and their presence
should be made clear in the designed application.
This can include associated values that are of interest to the learners or that
are specific for their context. In order to understand what would be of interest to the users,
socio-technical and participatory approaches can be used by designers.

 Be aware of what users are familiar with, what is important to them,
what is part of their culture.

Feeling of identification and 
appropriation with
personal adjustments

Users should be able to tailor the application.
An application that complies with this principle would be one that allows users
to adjust the interface so that they feel emotionally more comfortable.
Users should be able to add their own personal media or educational content,
according to their needs or preferences. Material from learners’
specific contexts composes more meaningful learning opportunities. 

 Allow users to set personal adjustments on interaction elements;
provide different options for configuration and personalization;
allow users to incorporate their own material to the system.


Connectedness with collaborative construction

The system should support users to be connected,
allowing that ones knowledge and/or actions join the knowledge and/or actions of others 
towards the construction of a collective result. 

Provide mechanisms for group collaboration;
allow communication and sharing.


Virtual closeness with social awareness

Social awareness is related to the perception of the social context,
e.g., perceiving the presence of others.
This might provide a sense of proximity among users or promote collective activities.
One of its purposes is to make it easier for people to express themselves and engage in collective interactions.


Provide feedback on users’ activity, presence, or feelings.

Setting the mood with varied media and modes of interaction

“Emotions are contagious” [1] . 
In the game design field, it is already known how moods can be created
 by means of appropriate use of images and sounds.
Like in movies, the narrative, together with camera zooms and increasing rhythm in the background music,
can create strong emotional states in the viewer [2].
The design of learning technology should also profit from such resources.
While the majority of applications already make use of media, such resources
are not always used with the explicit purpose of obtaining determined affective responses from users.


Explore use of sounds, images (colors, shapes, contrasts), videos, tactile feedback, etc.,
 to create varied emotional responses; explore the use of
 multiple modes of interaction (multimodal interaction:
kinectic, tangible, voice response, etc.).

[1] Norman, D. (2010) The Transmedia Design Challenge: Technology that is Pleasurable and Satisfying. Interactions, Jan/Feb, 2010, pp. 12-15. 

[2] Scolari, C.; Fraticelli, D. (2004) Enunciando la interacción: Las reseñas y anticipos de videojuegos. VI Congreso Nacional de la Asociación Argentina de Semiótica, 189-210.

*Images were edited and the originals are from the Noun Project, created by: Mateo Zlatar, factor[e] design initiative, Hadi Davodpour, misirlou, sagit milshtein, and Diego Naive.

Hayashi, E. C. S.; Baranauskas, M. C. C. . Design for Affectibility: Principles and Guidelines. In: HCII 2015 Posters, Part I, CCIS 528, pp. 25-35, 2015.