Designing Cute Interactive Media

In conjunction with

The ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems

24th February 2008
Cape Town, South Africa

Cuteness has an effective design philosophy that can be used in many areas to make emotionally engaging user interactive systems, as well as evaluate existing systems. Cuteness can also be included as an engineering design framework that can assist designers and engineers when creating engaging interactive systems that motivate the user in a happy, positive manner.

We look at a range of experiences involving the idea of “cuteness” and its related components. From a psychological standpoint, there are cues that are well known that are instilled in us at an instinctual level. An example is the features of babies that bring out a nurturing and adoration response. Measuring these reactions however is less discrete and is more qualitative in nature. From a cultural standpoint, the definition of how cute something is and what it drives the user to do in response is not yet fully explored.

The main goal of this workshop is to provide designers with a better understanding of developing ways to enhance the positive experience and effectiveness of interactive media by utilizing the psychological and culturally developed effects of cuteness. We would also like to explore a range of interactive experiences involving the idea of cuteness and examine the related components. Based on these experiences, the next generation user interfaces can be built to take advantage of the cuteness factor and its unique effects on the experience which can establish and maintain more meaningful relationships with the users and encourage happiness, self confidence, motivate the user to action, and provide overall positive experiences.

Target Audience

The workshop will welcome experts and practitioners working in areas such as those listed above. This would also encourage researchers, engineers, designers, artists, philosophers, etc., who work on next generation interactive systems and interfaces to add new tools into their available palette of design approaches. In addition, students from many areas of focus will gain a broader understanding of the current issues in contemporary design and user focused research. This workshop also welcomes the business sector to contribute to and learn from the workshop as well. Market trends and influences discussions are among some of the important contributions from the business sector participants. We especially encourage from the business sector those who are involved in products of entertainment, child medical equipment, home appliances, etc. to be involved in this workshop to understand the cute factor and bring it to the general public which may benefit greatly from more positive feelings and emotions.

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