Journal article Open Access

Holistic Typology of 20 Human Mood States

Pieter Desmet; Haian Xue; Steven Fokkinga

Designers have been long fascinated and inspired by the phenomenon of human mood. Nevertheless, a barrier that has been preventing them from adequately leveraging relevant opportunities is the current low-granular understanding of the mood phenomenon. Compared to emotion, mood is more difficult to capture and communicate because of its pervasive and elusive nature. Consequently, moods are often communicated with general descriptions, such as ‘I feel good today’, or ‘I am not in the mood’. Real-life moods are much more differentiated than what the inexplicit ‘good or bad’ accounts represent.

The booklet, ‘Twenty moods: Holistic typology of human mood states’ is a mood-focused design tool that offers design professionals with a fine-grained overview, a rich vocabulary, and pictorial descriptions of user mood states. Design researchers may use the typology as a resource for their user mood-related research explorations. Designers may use this typology to enhance their mood granularity, and take it as a source of inspirations for unique mood-focused design innovations.

This holistic mood typology is an open and evolving platform for the exploration of mood granularity for design research and practice. Previous versions can be obtained upon request.

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Desmet et al (2020) Twenty Moods 1st Edition.pdf
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Xue et al (2020) Mood Granularity for Design.pdf
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  • Desmet, P.M.A., Xue, H., & Fokkinga, S.F. (2020). Twenty moods: Holistic typology of human mood states (first edition). Delft: Delft University of Technology. ISBN: 978-94-6384-013-2

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