Surprise as a Design Strategy in Goal-oriented Mobile Applications
Authors: Alice Gross, Johanna Silvennoinen
Abstract: Emotions are important in product experiences. Besides utilitarian aspects in interacting with technological products, recent research has focused on hedonic and affective aspects of product interaction. Designing unexpected product features evoking surprise has proven to be advantageous for product user interaction and user experience. Especially, in classical product design surprising the user is an efficient design strategy to create pleasurable products. However, current research has not extensively focused on the effects of surprise in technological interactive products. It is important to understand users´ experiences in relation to unexpected events in digital products in order to design pleasurable and engaging technological products. Therefore, the focus of this study is to resolve how surprise affects user experience in goal-oriented mobile applications. The product features evoking surprise is conveyed via visual user interface design by manipulating visual characteristics of the user interface elements. The results of this study indicate that introducing surprise in goal-oriented contexts does not have a positive effect on users. It seems that an unexpected interruption of task flow lets satisfaction levels drop. Results of this study provide novel insights how surprise affects user experience in technological products and can be utilized in designing mobile applications.
Keywords: Surprise, Emotion, User Experience, Visual Design, Goal-oriented Mobile Application
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