I'm a student so this is my first crack at designing a study.

Trying to develop a usability test that 1) gathers participants emotional reaction and 2) discovers what behavior they would display after interacting with form elements.

I've looked into SUMI but it is costly. I thought about gathering satisfaction data which I think could give insight into the users intent to interact with the form, but it is also my understanding that what people say and actually do are two different things.

Anyway, it would be great to hear from someone to guide me through best practices and perhaps point me to some literature for further reading.


  • Can you explain the intent and use of SUMI that you considered? – Michael Lai Jul 23 '14 at 2:03
  • I've only just started researching SUMI, but it is my understanding that it can measure a users perceived satisfaction with software. – llowery Jul 23 '14 at 2:25
  • At Coursera there's now running a course of HCI, they have some good research methods and hints for them explained there, that might help. Maybe diary study or observations plus interview combined with giving users right motivation might help you to get solid feedback. – digsrafik Jul 23 '14 at 6:43
  • Predicting a user's behaviour is at the heart of nearly all (non-physical) design. It might help if you were clearer about your aims. "gathers participants emotional reaction" at what scale? You could measure pupil dilations or ask them a month later. Both would provide valid but likely different outcomes... Being clearer about what you aim to discover might let us give better answers. – edeverett Aug 22 '14 at 8:52

I did my master's thesis on Emotional Design with Prof. Pieter Desmet in TUDelft. He has several methodologies including the Premo http://studiolab.ide.tudelft.nl/studiolab/desmet/premo/

I am sure Pieter's work and related references will help you a lot with this.

For my project, I used more quantitative methods based on the need of the research. Very briefly; if you need to inspire design it is more effective to go for generative techniques, observations and 1-1 interviews. If your goal is to prove your concept right or wrong to someone; then go for quantitative studies.

Please let us know about the outcome of your research - methods and study.


If you video users (webcam on top of screen) and use screen recording software with a 'screen in screen facility to record the two feeds together then you will have a recording of users facial reactions as they complete tasks.

This will give you a broad brush guide to their emotional reactions from their facial expressions.

Lots of stressed expressions means that they don't like what they are seeing.

Lots of happy smiles means that they do.

How you analyse this data in more detail is a bit more of an issue...


Some general pointers (not sure about the literature that is out there) and hopefully people can build on some of the things I have listed here:

Usability Testing

If you are talking about a usability test then you should be focusing on goals and tasks first and understand the success rate. I suspect that people's emotions would be affected by how usable something is, so you want to make sure that you understand the effect and impact.

Study Design

For gathering emotional reaction, I think you are looking at more qualitative rather than quantitative metrics, so you might want to first build up a list of words that describe the product and the experiences that people would have.

The behaviour that users display after interaction with form elements can be explicit or implicitly. For the explicit behaviour you'll have to try and capture these either by raw data (e.g. video or eye/mouse tracking) or accumulation of information (heat map), and for the implicit behaviour you might have to design a survey or questionnaire (or interview them directly) to extract these.


You are correct in pointing out that what people say and do can be different, but it needs to be addressed in the context of what you are asking them to do. You may even find that in your case what people say and do match quite well, so you shouldn't make that assumption first until you look at the data, but make sure that you do capture both what they say and do. Generally if what users say and do vary, it can be attributed to their expectations of not just the application, but also their own assumptions about what their behaviour might be.

Relevant Literature

I am looking for some help here...

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