Emotional Design in Web Interfaces


  • Lidia Oliveira University of Aveiro
  • Margarida Carvalho




Emotional design, web, interfaces, emotions


In the area of human-computer interaction, over the last decade, there has been a growing interest on emotional factors, valuing above all the user experience. Emotions play a crucial role - in terms of both performance and influence - in areas such as attention, motivation, memory, decision-making and behavior. Therefore, not only emotion influences the interaction with websites but they also trigger emotional responses, and these responses can determine which website users choose. Therefore, were analyzed the emotional responses triggered in the interaction with Duolingo's interface (a learning languages website) taking into account the different components of emotional design, using data gathering instruments such as eye tracking and self-reporting methods. In this way, the present work intended to contribute to the design of interfaces that appeal in a greater extent to the users' emotions, in order to improve their user experience while increasing their level of engagement. Over the years, the focus of research in the field of human-computer interaction has been usability, which traditionally emphasizes the ease of use and functionality based on observed cognitive activity. Only recently, and prompted by Norman (2004), the role of aesthetic and affective aspects of interface design (Dillon, 2002; Norman, 2004) become more prominent leading to a growing interest on emotional factors. Works such as Jordan (2000), Desmet (2002) and Norman (2004) advocate a greater focus on pleasure and emotion in the user experience design of a product. “Emotions play an important role in how the user perceived the product (…) to achieve a meaningful relationship to a product.” (Fossdal & Berg, 2016, p. 95) Furthermore, emotions dominate decision-making process (Baumeister, Dewall, & Zhang, 2007; Polignano, 2015), direct attention and enhance particular memories over others (Reeves & Nass, 1998), being thus closely linked to attitudes, motivations and users' decisions (Koshkaki & Solhi, 2016). Consequently emotions influence all aspects of our interactions with cara membuat website (Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004) (Emanuel, Rodrigues, & Martins, 2015; Yin, Zhang, & Li, 2014). Moreover, these trigger complex social and emotional responses identical to that emotional responses experienced when interacting with people (Desmet, 2002). In particular, the positive emotions can increase users' motivation and fixation (Isen, 1993). Emotions can be thereby considered in the field of human-computer interaction, as important factors to take into account for the construction of affective, satisfactory and efficient interfaces (Eskimez, Sturge-Apple, Duan, & Heinzelman, 2016).

Author Biographies

Lidia Oliveira, University of Aveiro

Lídia Oliveira has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Coimbra (1990), a Master's degree in Educational Technology from the University of Aveiro, in partnership with the University of Valenciennes (France) and Mons (Belgium) (1995), and a PhD in Sciences and Technologies of Communication from the University of Aveiro (2002). She did her post-doctorate (2009-2010) at CES - Centre for Social Studies - Associate Laboratory of the University of Coimbra. In 2010 she did her Aggregation Examination at the University of Aveiro, in the scientific area of Sciences and Technologies of Communication. She is been a professor in the Department of Communication and Art (http://www.ua.pt) at the University of Aveiro since 1995 until the present. She investigates the implications of information technology and network communication on cognitive and social routines, of the individuals, groups and organizations. Her main scientific interest is in cyberculture studies and social network analysis. Her areas of interest are: Science and Technologies of Communication, ICT and Education, Multimedia, Social Network Analysis, Cyberculture Studies, Sociology of Communication, Information Systems, Digital Libraries, Science Communication, Communication in the Scientific Community (theoretical and empirical studies). She has published both nationally and internationally in peer review journals, book chapters and, conferences proceedings. She teaches on the undergraduate Course of New Communication Technologies; on the Master in Multimedia Communication (interactive multimedia and audio-visual digital branch); on the Master in Reading Promotion and School Libraries; on the Doctoral Program in Multimedia and Education (Consortium between the Department of Education and the Department of Communication and Art, University of Aveiro) and on the Doctoral Program in Information and Communication in Digital Platforms (Consortium between the Department of Communication and Art at the University of Aveiro and the Faculty of Letters of the University of Porto).

Margarida Carvalho

University of Aveiro




How to Cite

Oliveira, L., & Carvalho, M. (2017). Emotional Design in Web Interfaces. Observatorio (OBS*), 11(2). https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS1122017905