• Suspenseful design: Engaging emotionally with complex applications through compelling narratives

    R. Langer, M. Hancock, and S. D. Scott, “Suspenseful design: Engaging emotionally with complex applications through compelling narratives,” in Proc. GEM, 2014.

    @InProceedings{langer:2014:suspense,
    author= {Rebecca Langer and Mark Hancock and Stacey D. Scott},
    title = {Suspenseful design: Engaging emotionally with complex applications through compelling narratives},
    abstract = {Although story is a critical component of many games, stories and storytelling techniques are rarely used in other kinds of applications. In this paper, we introduce a framework for constructing suspenseful, narrative-based software applications. While many interface designs aim to reduce confusion and complexity, we introduce an alternative for inherently complex software by engaging people through narrative. We describe a framework for incorporating suspenseful elements into an interface and apply it to a proto-type of a suspenseful tutorial. We conducted a controlled experiment that compared this suspenseful tutorial to two more traditional tutorial designs. Participants who used the narrative-based tutorial reported greater feelings of hopeful suspense, which previous studies have found to be correlated with enjoyment and interest.},
    booktitle = {Proc. GEM},
    year = {2014},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {IEEE},
    pdf = {ieee-gem2014_submission_38.pdf},
    subtype = {conference}
    }


    Abstract

    Although story is a critical component of many games, stories and storytelling techniques are rarely used in other kinds of applications. In this paper, we introduce a framework for constructing suspenseful, narrative-based software applications. While many interface designs aim to reduce confusion and complexity, we introduce an alternative for inherently complex software by engaging people through narrative. We describe a framework for incorporating suspenseful elements into an interface and apply it to a proto-type of a suspenseful tutorial. We conducted a controlled experiment that compared this suspenseful tutorial to two more traditional tutorial designs. Participants who used the narrative-based tutorial reported greater feelings of hopeful suspense, which previous studies have found to be correlated with enjoyment and interest.