• Cecillie Lundsgaard
  • Sabrina Grønkjær Balle
4. term, Experience Design, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis was written by Cecillie Lundsgaard and Sabrina Grønkjær Balle as their final report at the master programme Oplevelsesdesign (Experience Design) at Aalborg University. The thesis outlines the theoretical and methodical considerations that went into the research and testing of the projects hypotheses and problem statement, as well as the subsequent concepts and conclusions.
As a means of narrowing down and focusing our research we chose to work with a case study. Here we specifically chose to work with the communication of information pertaining to safety and first aid to users at Aalborg University. Each of the concepts, that were created on the basis of this case study, had roots in the accessibility of the university’s Safety Points (cabinets with emergency tools placed in most of the buildings that the university inhabits) and the emergency tools and first aid kits available in these. Through our research we have found that users opinions regarding this subject are potentially either neutral or negative in nature. Therefore we decided to focus our work on finding a way to make the experience of gaining knowledge within this subject more enjoyable. To this end we decided to work with humour as a tool for communicating and making these important subjects more accessible to the users.
Based upon these considerations and the framing of this project we worked with the following problem statement:

How can humour be used in a digital experience product as a tool of communication in regards to important information, that users associate with either neutral or negative opinions, and thereby heighten the level of knowledge as well as the understanding of the subject in question?

Based upon the research, test and interviews conducted as a part the project we were able to reach a series of conclusions. First and foremost there are both positives and negatives in regards to utilising humour as a communication tool. Humour makes the subject at hand more accessible to the users by taking the level of seriousness down. However the lack of seriousness means that the credibility potentially suffers. Because of this we conclude that it is important for further research to look into how a focus on rhetoric could improve upon this problem, so that the users feel able to place their trust in the concepts. Furthermore we conclude that humoristic measures such as repeated behaviour and humour based in relatability are effective ways to secure a positive experience for the users. We can conclude that associations are another powerful tool to create a positive experience in cases where a character that can otherwise be interpreted as negative. However if these associations are not created within the users the experience will potentially be interpreted as negative.
Furthermore we can also conclude that there are many variables to take into consideration when working with breaches of expectations, in relation to humoristic elements. When working with humour it is especially important to consider the intensity of this breach of expectations, since a high intensity breach will draw in the users but distract them at the same time. On the other hand we can, through our work, see a potential in utilising understated types of humour, since these were shown not to distract from the important information.
Publication date11 Jun 2019
Number of pages123
ID: 305550584