In social psychology, “what is attractive is good” means that a physically attractive person is perceived to be more favorable and capable. In industrial design, the interface is one of the three elements that influence users’ experience with a product. For multimedia learning, does the interface design affect users’ experience with learning environments? Does attractive interface enhance multimedia learning? Research in multimedia learning has been neglecting this issue. In this chapter, I propose that attractive interface design does indeed promote multimedia learning. This hypothesis is based on the review of the following theories and related empirical studies: 1) an interface impacts a user’s experience; 2) beautiful interface induces positive emotions; 3) positive emotions broaden cognitive resources; and 4) expanded cognitive resources promote learning. The Model of Emotional Design in Multimedia Learning is proposed to highlight how emotions regulate multimedia learning. Suggestions regarding designing attractive interfaces are provided.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Usability: “The degree to which people (users) can perform a set of required tasks” (Brink, Gergle, & Wood, 2002).
Interface Design: Refers to how the design presents information to users so that users can process information as required to complete a task (Raskin, 2000).
Emotions: Refer to mental states (Cornelius, 1996). The cognitive perspective of emotions focuses on the role that thought plays in the process of emotions (Arnold, 1960).
Aesthetics: Both the study of beauty and the properties of a system that appeal to the senses, as opposed to the content, structures, and utility of the system itself (Budd, 1995).
Positive Emotions: A category of emotions, sharing features identified by the theories on emotions. Positive emotions promote cognitive activities.
Multimedia Design: The presentation of materials both in words and pictures (Mayer, 2001).
Multimedia Learning: Refers to learning from multimedia design, that is, words and pictures (Mayer, 2001).