Exploration of user interface mechanisms with affect labeling to enhance online discussion

Mariana L. De Carvalho, Thomas Olsson, Joel Kiskola

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Heated and uncivil discussions are regrettably common in social media, potentially leading to harmful atmospheres. In the present work, we explore how relatively simple user interface mechanisms might nudge users to choose a more civil tone by promoting an emotion regulation process called affect labeling-i.e., naming one's emotions. In particular, we focus on labeling emotions in response to online news articles, as this is a ubiquitous form of online multimedia. Based on systematic design exploration, we present four concrete mechanisms as alternatives for affect labeling news articles: an emotion wheel, an intensity slider, emotion analysis done through machine learning, and free text labeling. In a qualitative evaluation study, 18 interviewees discussed the designs in focus groups in order to identify design aspects that might lead to high acceptability and usability. The study findings help reflect how emotion regulation could be facilitated by UI mechanisms, which design aspects both encourage affect labeling and are acceptable by users, and how affect labeling can meaningfully influence online interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademic Mindtrek 2021 - Proceedings of the 24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450385145
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Academic Mindtrek Conference - , Finland
Duration: 1 Jun 20213 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


ConferenceInternational Academic Mindtrek Conference


  • Affect labeling
  • Emotion regulation mechanisms
  • Interaction design
  • News platforms
  • Online emotion regulation
  • Online hostility
  • Online multimedia
  • User interface

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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