Touchy-feely: A designerly exploration of haptic representations of three mood states

Haian Xue*, Qianqian Zheng, Pieter Desmet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Human moods are diffuse, elusive, and often difficult to articulate, yet they hold immense potential for wellbeing-centric design because they play a significant role in shaping our everyday life experiences. A person’s mood influences their experiences with a designed system, and in turn, their interactions with the design also influence their mood for better or worse. To enable designers to better comprehend and communicate moods in their design processes, this paper reports a project that explored the possibilities of creating haptic objects as a medium for communicating subtle qualities of specific moods. The project focused on three commonly experienced moods - cheerfulness, grumpiness, and gloominess. We first identified a set of haptic features that represent experiential qualities of these moods. These features were then synthesised into three mood-expressing haptic objects, which were evaluated using a blind test. The results indicated that haptic objects can be purposefully created, and that haptic qualities hold promise to complement verbal and visual forms of mood communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIASDR2023: Life Changing Design
EditorsD. De Sainz Molestina, F. Rizzo, D. Spallazzo
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventInternational Association of Societies of Design Research Congress 2023: Life-Changing Design - Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
Duration: 9 Oct 202313 Oct 2023


ConferenceInternational Association of Societies of Design Research Congress 2023
Abbreviated titleIASDR Congress 2023
Internet address


  • mood
  • mood-focused design
  • designerly exploration
  • mood-expressing haptic objects


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