H.I.M is a personified OS which can respond to different situations and express emotions instantaneously through its Graphical User Interface.

H.I.M mainly responds to its owner’s behaviour and attitude towards them. If the owner takes care of it well, it will become tame and accustomed to him/her. On the contrary, if its owner treats it badly, it would have a negative effect on its personality. H.I.M was inspired by experiments about how to expand a ‘Graphical User Interface’ to a ‘Graphical Human Relationship’. While keeping the responsive interactions, each device can have its unique personality and special relationship to the person who is not just using it, but has ownership of it. 

To find way to communicate the emotional OS via a GUI, I approached 4 different visual languages:

First, I tried hand drawing. People understood feelings from hand drawn animations, but did not perceive that this was the emotion coming from the OS. They just considered it to be another graphical interface.

Second was a flat GUI. It gave similar results to the hand drawing. People focused on the features and even tried to manipulate them.

The third trial used text as direct messages to express emotions. I sent these animations people who were using facebook at midnight and asked them how they felt. In the case of using text to directly to say what the OS is feeling, people were engaged emotionally; mostly they said things like “you’re annoying”, “It’s sweet”. But they thought that it was a kind of alarm application, mainly due to the clock icon. Still it did not change their perception that this was just a kind of graphical interface.

Lastly, I used the metaphor of human-inspired behaviour. It was successful mostly because people naturally connected the animations to their own situations, and understood what the OS was feeling’. In this test, people emotionally engaged with the OS. Interestingly even they expressed their emotional behaviour in the same way they would do with a friend or other people using the OS. But the main reason for the emotional reactions came from their own demands or interest – it was hard to see they cared about OS itself.

Through the tests, I found positive possibilities for a new way of emotional communication with an OS in the future. People could adapt new ways of interaction quickly and naturally repeated the new-learned interaction. I found that younger kids were especially proud of themselves when they had emotional feedback from the OS. It shows potential for a ‘next level’ of communication after the acquaintance level.

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