Special Issue "Frameworks and Methods to Design for Positive User Experience and Wellbeing"

A special issue of Multimodal Technologies and Interaction (ISSN 2414-4088).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Michael Burmester
Website
Guest Editor
Stuttgart Media University, Nobelstraße 10, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Interests: Human-centred design; positive user experience; design for wellbeing at work; Positive Psychology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last ten to twenty years great progress has been made in understanding the scientific foundations of positive user experience and the possible contributions of digital technology to wellbeing.

Very often new digital technology or digital transformation in general is discussed in a rather dystopic manner. It is argued, that real relationships between people are eroded, that it destroys jobs or changes jobs between excessive demands or unchallenged work, that it virtualizes life…

With approaches like experience design, positive design, positive technology, or positive computing we have very good starting points to design digital technology for positive user experiences and wellbeing. All these approaches have their theoretical roots in Positive Psychology. They open up new design perspectives and can contribute to design for a positive future. Work can be designed for better self-efficacy or perception of work as a meaningful activity. In leisure contexts technology can contribute to support feelings of relatedness in families or between friends, even when they live temporarily separated from each other. And there are many more examples and possibilities for design enabling positive experiences and wellbeing.

Since design for positive user experience and wellbeing has different theoretical foundations than technology designed for pragmatic purposes, design frameworks and methods are different as well. Research on design frameworks and methods is important, because it supports designers in the develop of new ideas for positive digital technologies.

I hope that you feel inspired to contribute to this special issue. In the following I propose possible research directions, but please feel free to decide on your own contribution:

  • Design frameworks or methods could be context specific. Concerning design for positive user experience and wellbeing, research showed that experiences in work contexts and leisure contexts are different.
  • When designing for positive experiences time perspective will have an impact. E.g. design could be focused on short-term positive experience or long-term wellbeing.
  • Social networks or collaborative work applications require design for multiple users or groups of users which will be different from design focusing on single users.
  • Design could address hedonic or eudemonic experiences, which will have an impact on frameworks and methods as well.
  • Significant progress in technology research and development (e.g. artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, robots) provide new opportunities for creating interaction and the design for positive experiences. For example, artificial intelligence changes the interaction paradigm from the command-response paradigm to cooperation and integration of computers in everyday life.
  • Technologies serve a specific purpose, but can offer possibilities for positive experiences as well. However, it is also possible, that technologies are just being designed for positive experiences and wellbeing. Both directions will have an impact on design practice.
  • Which requirements must be met to implement design frameworks and methods for positive user experience and wellbeing in companies?
  • Research showed that in many cases designers have a rather pragmatic perspective on design of technology. In order to design for positive user experience and wellbeing a sound knowledge of the theoretical background and a certain attitude or mindset is required. How can design methods or frameworks contribute to support that?

Frameworks and methods could cover the basic phases of a generic and iterative design process, consisting of analysis of contexts and users, development of design solutions, and evaluation of the designs. Research could be validation studies, case studies, method developments, reflections, overviews or reviews etc.

Prof. Dr. Michael Burmester
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Positive user experience
  • Experience design
  • Design for wellbeing
  • UX frameworks
  • UX methods
  • Human-centred design
  • Positive design
  • Positive technology
  • Positive computing

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Design for Sustained Wellbeing through Positive Activities—A Multi-Stage Framework
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4040071 - 29 Sep 2020
Abstract
In this paper, we introduce a framework that conceptualizes a multi-stage process through which technology can promote sustained wellbeing. Intentional wellbeing-enhancing activities form the centerpiece linking direct product interaction to, ultimately, wellbeing. The framework was developed following a bottom-up–top-down approach by integrating theoretical [...] Read more.
In this paper, we introduce a framework that conceptualizes a multi-stage process through which technology can promote sustained wellbeing. Intentional wellbeing-enhancing activities form the centerpiece linking direct product interaction to, ultimately, wellbeing. The framework was developed following a bottom-up–top-down approach by integrating theoretical knowledge from positive psychology, behavioral science and human–computer interaction (HCI)/design with empirical insights. We outline (a) the framework, (b) its five main stages including their multidisciplinary theoretical foundations, (c) relations between these stages and (d) specific elements that further describe each stage. The paper illustrates how the framework was developed and elaborates three major areas of application: (design) research, design strategies and measurement approaches. With this work, we aim to provide actionable guidance for researchers and IT practitioners to understand and design technologies that foster sustained wellbeing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Positive Design for Children with Atopic Dermatitis—Enhanced Problem-Solving and Possibility-Driven Approach in the Context of Chronic Disease
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4040069 - 23 Sep 2020
Abstract
Since the 1960s, atopic dermatitis has seen a steady increase in prevalence in developed countries. Most often, the onset begins at an early age and many patients are very young children. Due to their young age, their parents are forced to take over [...] Read more.
Since the 1960s, atopic dermatitis has seen a steady increase in prevalence in developed countries. Most often, the onset begins at an early age and many patients are very young children. Due to their young age, their parents are forced to take over handling of the disease. As a consequence, atopic dermatitis places a high burden not only on affected children, but also on their parents and siblings, limiting human flourishing of a whole family. Therefore, the described research area calls for a possibility-driven approach that looks beyond mere problem-solving while building on existing support possibilities and creating new ones. This paper presents atopi as a result of such a possibility-driven approach. It incorporates existing patient education and severity scoring into an extensive service, adding new elements to turn necessary practices into joyful experiences, to create feelings of relatedness and to increase perceived self-efficacy, thus is suitable to enable human flourishing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Designing for Temporal Harmony: Exploring the Well-Being Concept for Designing the Temporal Dimension of User Experience
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030066 - 13 Sep 2020
Abstract
User Experience (UX) is characterized by its temporal dimension, dynamic nature, and variability. Although descriptive models about the temporal dimension and related aspects exist, an understanding of the design possibilities and a design approach that ensures the design of the temporal dimension promoting [...] Read more.
User Experience (UX) is characterized by its temporal dimension, dynamic nature, and variability. Although descriptive models about the temporal dimension and related aspects exist, an understanding of the design possibilities and a design approach that ensures the design of the temporal dimension promoting a positive UX and well-being are still lacking. This paper addresses this research gap and builds on Zimbardo and Boyd’s Time Perspective Theory (TPT). TPT presents five time perspectives (TPs)—Past-Negative, Past-Positive, Present-Fatalistic, Present-Hedonistic, and Future—to reveal that people have individual attitudes toward time that influence their thoughts, actions, and feelings. Studies conclude that a balance between the positive TPs (Past-Positive, Present-Hedonistic, and Future), i.e., temporal harmony, contributes to long-term well-being. We present our design framework and approach “designing for temporal harmony,” which incorporates the theory into the practice to highlight the temporal design possibilities and to offer guidance for designers. We applied the design framework and approach to a case study, developed an app concept, and evaluated it with users. The results demonstrate that it is possible to systematically develop temporal UX concepts that evoke positive anticipations, experiences, and retrospections, and that these promote a positive UX as well as contribute to users’ long-term well-being. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Emotion and Interaction Control: A Motive-Based Approach to Media Choice in Socio-Emotional Communication
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030053 - 15 Aug 2020
Abstract
A large part of everyday communication is mediated by technology, with a constantly growing number of choices. Accordingly, how people choose between different communication media is a long-standing research question. However, while prominent media theories focus on how media characteristics affect communication performance, [...] Read more.
A large part of everyday communication is mediated by technology, with a constantly growing number of choices. Accordingly, how people choose between different communication media is a long-standing research question. However, while prominent media theories focus on how media characteristics affect communication performance, the underlying psychological motives of media choice and how different technologies comply with these are less considered. We propose a theoretical framework that links media characteristics with peoples’ intentions to influence communication and present a qualitative study on reasons for media choice in socio-emotional situations. An analysis through the lens of the framework illustrates how users employ media to establish control over the interactional speed and emotional intensity of communication and thereby regulate their communication experience. Besides an advanced theoretical understanding, the present analysis provides a basis for a conscious design of communication media, to deliberately shape the way people interact with technology and each other. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards Explainable and Sustainable Wow Experiences with Technology
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030049 - 11 Aug 2020
Abstract
Interacting with technology can evoke various positive and negative reactions in users. An outstandingly positive user experience enabled by interactive technology is often referred to as a “wow experience” in design practice and research. Such experiences are considered to be emotional, memorable, and [...] Read more.
Interacting with technology can evoke various positive and negative reactions in users. An outstandingly positive user experience enabled by interactive technology is often referred to as a “wow experience” in design practice and research. Such experiences are considered to be emotional, memorable, and highly desirable. Surprisingly, wow experiences have not received much attention in design research. In this study, we try to gain a more in-depth understanding of how wow experiences are caused. Through an exploratory factor analysis, we identify six factors contributing to wow experiences with interactive technology: Hygiene, goal attainment, uniqueness, relevance, emotional fingerprint, and inspiration. We propose an integrated model of wow experience and a prototype questionnaire to measure wow experiences with interactive products based on the identified factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Guided User Research Methods for Experience Design—A New Approach to Focus Groups and Cultural Probes
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030043 - 26 Jul 2020
Abstract
Many companies are facing the task for radical innovations—totally new concepts and ideas for products and services, which are successful at the market. One major factor for success is a positive user experience. Thus, design teams need, and are challenged to integrate, an [...] Read more.
Many companies are facing the task for radical innovations—totally new concepts and ideas for products and services, which are successful at the market. One major factor for success is a positive user experience. Thus, design teams need, and are challenged to integrate, an experience-centered perspective in their human-centered design processes. To support this, we propose adjusted versions of the well-established user research methods focus groups and cultural probes, in order to tailor them to the specific needs and focus of experience-based design, especially in the context of solving “wicked design problems”. The results are experience focus groups and experience probes, which augment the traditional methods with new structuring, materials, and tasks based on the three principles experience focus, creative visualization, and systematic guidance. We introduce and describe a two step-approach for applying these methods, as well as a case study that was conducted in cooperation with a company that illustrates how the methods can be applied to enable an experience-centered perspective on the topic of “families and digital life”. The case study demonstrates how the methods address the three principles they are based on. Post-study interviews with representatives of the company revealed valuable insights about their usefulness for practical user experience design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tools for Wellbeing-Supportive Design: Features, Characteristics, and Prototypes
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030040 - 10 Jul 2020
Abstract
While research on wellbeing within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is an active space, a gap between research and practice persists. To tackle this, we sought to identify the practical needs of designers in taking wellbeing research into practice. We report on 15 semi-structured interviews [...] Read more.
While research on wellbeing within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is an active space, a gap between research and practice persists. To tackle this, we sought to identify the practical needs of designers in taking wellbeing research into practice. We report on 15 semi-structured interviews with designers from four continents, yielding insights into design tool use generally and requirements for wellbeing design tools specifically. We then present five resulting design tool concepts, two of which were further developed into prototypes and tested in a workshop with 34 interaction design and HCI professionals. Findings include seven desirable features and three desirable characteristics for wellbeing-supportive design tools, including that these tools should satisfy the need for proof, buy-in, and tangibility. We also provide clarity around the notion of design for wellbeing and why it must be distinguished from design for positive emotions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Beyond Maslow’s Pyramid: Introducing a Typology of Thirteen Fundamental Needs for Human-Centered Design
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030038 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
This paper introduces a design-focused typology of psychological human needs that includes 13 fundamental needs and 52 sub-needs (four for each fundamental need). The typology was developed to provide a practical understanding of psychological needs as a resource for user-centered design practice and [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a design-focused typology of psychological human needs that includes 13 fundamental needs and 52 sub-needs (four for each fundamental need). The typology was developed to provide a practical understanding of psychological needs as a resource for user-centered design practice and research with a focus on user experience and well-being. The first part of the manuscript briefly reviews Abraham Maslow’s pioneering work on human needs, and the underlying propositions, main contributions and limitations of his motivational theory. The review results in a set of requirements for a design-focused typology of psychological needs. The second part reports on the development of the new typology. The thirteen needs were selected from six existing typologies with the use of five criteria that distinguish fundamental from non-fundamental needs. The resulting typology builds on the strengths of Maslow’s need hierarchy but rejects the hierarchical structure and adds granularity to the need categories. The third part of the paper describes three examples of how the need typology can inform design practice, illustrated with student design cases. It also presents three means for communicating the need typology. The general discussion section reflects on implications and limitations and proposes ideas for future research. Full article
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