Smile to Me: Investigating Emotions and their Representation in Text-based Messaging in the Wild
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Emotions are part of human communication shaping mimics and representing feelings. For this, conveying emotions has been integrated in text-based messaging applications using emojis. While visualizing emotions in text messages has been investigated in previous work, we studied the effects of emotion sharing by augmented the WhatsApp Web user interface – a text messenger people already use on daily basis. For this, we designed and developed four different visualizations to represent emotions detected through facial expression recognition of chat partners using a web cam. Investigating emotion representation and its effects, we conducted a four weeks longitudinal study with 28 participants being inquired via 48 semistructured interviews and 64 questionnaires. Our findings revealed that users want to maintain control over their emotions, particularly regarding sharing, and that they preferably view positive emotions avoiding unpleasant social situations. Based on these insights, we phrased four design recommendations stimulating novel approaches for augmenting chats.