Evocative Balance: Designing for Interactional Empowerment
Anna Ståhl, Jonas Löwgren, Kristina Höök
We propose an experiential quality called evocative balance as key in designing for affective interaction that aims to empower users in and through the interaction. Evocative balance draws on the dual meaning of the word “evoke” in characterizing the user’s sense that data and actions evoke familiar recollections of lived experience, yet are still open enough to evoke multiple interpretations in an ongoing process of co-constructive making of meaning. Our aim is to capture those experiences that resonate with our lived, everyday, social and bodily experiences; those experiences that we can recognise in ourselves and, through empathy, in others. We elaborate on and substantiate the meaning of this quality by means of retrospective reflection on three of our own design projects. This account provides detailed insights on how to find the balance between openness and familiarity through design.
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