Empatheticons: Designing Emotion Awareness Tools for Group Music Experience


Online group music players provide music playlists for a group of people. In such systems, group members sometimes listen to group songs individually. How to create the sense of connectedness for members who are listening to music in different time and locations is understudied. In this paper, we investigate the roles of emotion awareness tools and how they may enable connectedness. We first describe the design of empatheticons, a set of kinetic emotion representations. We then show that they allow users to represent, annotate, and visualize group members’ emotions in GroupFun, a group music player. An in-depth user study (N = 18) with GroupFun demonstrates that empatheticons enhance users’ perceptions of the connectedness (immediacy) and familiarity (intimacy) with each other in a non-collocated and asynchronous setting. Furthermore, users’ emotion annotation for group songs can be influenced by other group members. We conclude with design implications and directions for future research.


Group music player; user experience; social interaction; group influence; emotion awareness; emotion presentation




Yu Chen and Pearl Pu


Swiss National Science Foundation


  • Yu Chen, Xiaojuan Ma, Alfredo Cerezo and Pearl Pu. Empatheticons: Designing Emotion Awareness Tools for Group Recommenders. In the 15th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction (Interaccion2014). Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain, September 10-12, 2014 


  • Alfredo Cerezo, Samsung R&D, Spain
  • Xiaojuan Ma, Huawei Noah’s Ark Lab, Hong Kong