Emotion Design

User-centred design strategies and emotive influencing factors

Up to now, emotional factors have hardly been taken into account in the planning and design of public mobility systems with regard to promoting user acceptance (with the exception of safety aspects). Yet their influence on the perception and evaluation of the environment during acts of use has been sufficiently proven by emotion research and design theory. Cognition enables people to understand their environment. Emotions enable them to make quick decisions. Often, the emotional reaction precedes the cognitive understanding. Which designable factors in the human environment evoke these emotions and to what extent? Answering this question is essential for a comprehensive and intentional design strategy.

This is the starting point for the research project “Emotion Design”, investigating systematically the effect of design factors on the emotions of users in the context of public transport. Specific design elements such as materiality, lighting and the influence of posture are simulated in virtual reality scenarios and the human affects evoked in the process (short-lived situation-related emotions) are observed and measured. The classification of these affects is based on the established psychological model of arousal (intensity) and evaluation (quality) of individual emotions. In this way, the emotive character of particular design elements as well as their relevance for improving the quality of stay in public mobility spaces will be determined. The result of this investigation can thus be a guideline for designers when making decisions in the design process of such spaces.

The project (HA project no. 1015/21-17) was funded by the State of Hesse and HOLM funding under the “Innovations in Logistics and Mobility” measure of the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing.

Type of project • Research project
Lead • Prof. Peter Eckart, Prof. Dr. Kai Vöckler, Dipl.-Des. Julian Schwarze
Team • Dipl.-Des. Andreas Grzesiek, Hannah Weirich, Emma Kottwitz, Annika Storch, Leonard Neunzerling
Status • completed
Duration • 05/2021 – 04/2022
Cooperation • Prof. Dr. Melissa Vo, Dr. Maxim Spur, Dr. Erwan David, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Funding • State of Hessen/House of Logistics and Mobility (HOLM), Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing




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