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The Role of Emotion in Visual Communication of Risk - Differences Between Designers and Users

Hui Yueh Hsieh , David Durling , Mark Coulson

The primary aim of this study was to determine whether there are differences in emotional responses between designers and users when interpreting visual messages about health risks. Six graphic warnings for cigarette packets will be introduced in Taiwan to increase public awareness of health risks associated with smoking, and these formed the materials for this study. Emotional responses elicited by these graphic warnings in both designers and users were measured using a Chinese translation of the abbreviated PAD Emotion Scales. The results suggest there are differences between the emotional responses of designers and users. A significant difference was found on the Arousal scale, with users scoring higher. In addition, differences between the groups were observed in 5 out of 12 individual items, and there were some effects of participant sex.


emotional design, visual communication design, risk