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    The Impact of Expectations on User Experience: Surprising the User

    HCI 2014 - Sand, Sea & Sky - Holiday HCI

    Proceedings of the 28th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014)

    Southport, UK, 9 - 12 September 2014


    Alice Marlene Gross & Juliane Bürglen



    Exciting product design and great user experience (UX) have become one of the most important selling points for digital interactive products. Strong competition fosters innovative user experience design and the development of new design techniques. Surprising users by using unexpected product features has proven to be beneficial for product user interaction and UX. Unfortunately, these findings have been mostly limited to classical product design. In two studies we have tried to elicit surprise in users while they were playing a digital Tetris game. Within this context we investigated the influence of pleasant and unpleasant surprises on UX ratings of the game. Both manipulations had an influence on the affective states of users, pleasant surprise elevating the users’ emotional state, and vice versa. Interestingly, adding unpleasant surprise in the form of challenging messages elevated product loyalty for products associated with unpleasant surprise compared to products associated with neutral or pleasant surprise.


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