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Visual aesthetics and the user experience


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User experience is conceptualized as a phenomenon consisting of instrumental and non-instrumental quality perceptions as well as emotional user reactions. Visual aesthetics is defined as one non-instrumental quality and available methods are applied to measure the perception of visual aesthetics of interactive systems. Selected results of two studies are reported that addressed the influence of perceived usability and visual aesthetics on emotional user reactions and consequences of user experience and studied the effect of user characteristics and contextual parameters on these relations. The results show that usability and visual aesthetics can be perceived independently. Furthermore, the relevance of perceived visual aesthetics for emotional user reactions and consequences of user experience is demonstrated. However, the results reveal that the importance depends on user characteristics, e.g. the centrality of visual product aesthetics, and context parameters, e.g. the goaldirectedness of the interaction. @InProceedings{mahlke:DSP:2008:1624, author = {Sascha Mahlke}, title = {Visual aesthetics and the user experience}, booktitle = {The Study of Visual Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction }, year = {2008}, editor = {Marc Hassenzahl and Gitte Lindgaard and Axel Platz and Noam Tractinsky }, number = {08292}, series = {Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings}, ISSN = {1862-4405}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik, Germany}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {}, annote = {Keywords: User experience, non-instrumental qualities, visual aesthetics, emotional user reactions} }
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Visual aesthetics and the user experience
Sascha Mahlke
Berlin University of Technology
Franklinstrasse 28/29 – FR2-6, 10587 Berlin, Germany
This paper describes the outcomes of a project that focused
on the integration of non-instrumental qualities like
aesthetic and symbolic aspects and emotional user reactions
with traditional, instrumental-focused approaches to users’
experience of interaction. A research framework is
described that conceptualizes user experience as a
phenomenon consisting of instrumental and non-
instrumental quality perceptions as well as emotional user
reactions. Methodological consequences are discussed in
particular for the measurement of visual aesthetics of
interactive systems. Selected results of two studies are
reported that addressed the influence of perceived usability
and visual aesthetics on emotional user reactions and
consequences of user experience and studied the effect of
user characteristics and contextual parameters on these
Author Keywords
User experience, non-instrumental qualities, visual
aesthetics, emotional user reactions.
ACM Classification Keywords
H5.2. Information interfaces and presentation: user
interfaces: user-centered design.
To date, various approaches to the evaluation of interactive
systems go beyond the notion of efficiency and aim to
better understand how people experience technology. In this
regard, two important concepts have been explored in
particular: emotions and non-instrumental qualities
(Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006).
The term emotional design has received significant
attention (Norman, 2004). For example, Desmet & Hekkert
(2002) presented an explicit model of emotions according
to product perceptions. Zhang & Li (2005) studied the
concept of affective quality as the ability of interactive
systems to cause changes in the user's affective state.
Non-instrumental qualities can be described as quality
aspects that address user needs that go beyond tasks, goals
and their efficient achievement (Hassenzahl, 2006).
Different approaches to non-instrumental qualities can be
found in the literature. Jordan (2000) argued for a
hierarchical organization of user needs and claimed that
along with the functionality and usability of the product,
different aspects of pleasure are important to enhance the
user's interaction with it. Further analyses studied selected
non-instrumental quality aspects of interactive systems in
detail, such as hedonic quality (Hassenzahl, 2003) and
visual aesthetics (Lavie & Tractinsky, 2004).
Visual aesthetics is one important dimension of non-
instrumental qualities. Liu (2003) proposes that a discipline
of engineering aesthetics should address two major
questions: first, how to use engineering and scientific
methods to study aesthetic concepts in system and product
design, and second, how to incorporate engineering and
scientific methods in the aesthetic design and evaluation
process beyond designers’ intuitions.
A few early studies addressed these request. Burmester,
Platz, Rudolph and Wild (1999) have studied the influence
of visual aesthetic design on users’ quality perceptions by
using a traditional version of a user interface and one that
was worked over completely by a designer to find that the
later version received higher rating with respect to quality
impression, apparent usability and superiority. Kleiss and
Enke (1999) conducted a study to identify the visual
appearance attributes of automotive audio systems that
impact users’ judgments. The results reveal specific visual
appearance attributes that contributed separately to the
perception of stylish appearance and to the perception of
quality. Schenkman and Jönsson (2000) have studied users
first impressions of websites and found that beauty was the
best predictor for the overall judgment.
Other studies focus on specific design dimensions to
improve aesthetic quality. Park, Choi and Kim (2004)
conducted empirical studies with professional web
designers and users to identify critical factors for the visual
aesthetics of websites. They identified thirteen aesthetic
dimensions and instructed designers to design example
websites with respect to selected dimensions. They found
that users rated the quality on a specific aesthetic dimension
higher if the designer had focused on it. Laugwitz (2001)
concentrates on the impact of the use of color on aesthetic
perceptions in the context of software systems and found
interrelations between system properties and users’
judgments. Leder and Carbon (2005) report a study in
which the influence of stimulus properties on the
appreciation of car interiors is investigated. Three design
components (complexity, curvature, and innovativeness),
Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings 08292
The Study of Visual Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction
Figure 1. User experience research framework.
which were all thought to affect design appreciation, were
combined in a fully factorial design. All dimensions were
confirmed to affect users’ ratings. In particular curvature
and innovativeness affected the attractiveness ratings.
Curved and non-innovative designs were generally
These examples demonstrate how to studiy visual aesthetics
in human-technology interaction. The project described in
the following aimed at better understanding users’
experience of interaction and took into account visual
aesthetics as one aspect of user experience. In this paper, I
will demonstrate how visual aesthetics can be incorporated
into a model of user experience, discuss available methods
to measure the perception of visual aesthetics in HCI,
present selected results on the role of aesthetics as part of
user experience and discuss important topics for the
research of visual aesthetics in human-technology
In Mahlke & Thüring (2007) we describe an integrated
research approach to the experimental study of emotional
user reactions in consideration of instrumental and non-
instrumental quality perceptions of interactive systems
(Figure 1).
A model is presented that defines instrumental and non-
instrumental quality perceptions as well as emotional
reactions as three central components of the user
experience. Characteristics of the interaction impact these
three components. Interaction characteristics primarily
depend on system properties, but also user characteristics
and context parameters can play an important role. The
actual consequences of the user's experience of an
interaction, meaning the overall judgments of a product,
usage behavior or user preferences are defined as outcomes
of all three central components of the user experience.
Instrumental and non-instrumental qualities are defined in
more detail (Thüring & Mahlke, 2007). Aesthetic aspects of
non-instrumental quality are divided into various
dimensions related to the human senses. Visual, haptic, and
acoustic perceptions are most relevant in human-technology
interaction and therefore stated in the model. Visual
aesthetics of products is defined as the extent to which
sensory (e.g. colors, see Laugwitz, 2001) and formal (e.g.
shapes, see Leder & Carbon, 2005) attributes of a product
provide positive visual experiences for the user (Lang,
1988). Process theories can be used to explain the visual
aesthetic experience in more detail (Lindgaard & Whitfield,
2004; Leder et al., 2004; Reber et al., 2004; Hekkert et al.,
Visual aspects of products have often been stated as most
relevant for users’ aesthetic response (Bloch, 1995).
Various approaches exist to assess the visual aesthetics of
interactive products. For example, Kleiss and Enke (1999)
used 18 pairs of bipolar attributes to assess the visual
appearance of automotive audio systems. Nonetheless, like
in other approaches some of the items also represent
instrumental and symbolic qualities. Schenkman and
Jönsson (2000) used seven variables to assess visual
aesthetics: complexity, legibility, order, beauty,
meaningfulness, comprehension, and overall impression.
However, each variable is only represented by one item and
the names of the concepts seem somehow ambiguous.
Lavie and Tractinsky (2004) present the most validated
approach to the measurement of visual aesthetics in human-
technology interaction. They developed a questionnaire
based on four empirical studies that consists of two main
dimensions of visual aesthetics, which they named
‘classical aesthetics’ and ‘expressive aesthetics’. The
classical aesthetics dimension pertains to aesthetic notions
that emphasize orderly and clear design. The expressive
aesthetics dimension is manifested by the designers’
creativity and originality and by the ability to break design
conventions. To measure each of the dimensions they give a
five-item scale. One weakness of this approach is outlined
by Hassenzahl (2007). He argues that the dimension of
expressive aesthetics measures more symbolic or
motivational aspects that are conveyed by visual attributes
of an interactive product than directly focusing on aesthetic
aspects. Nonetheless, the dimension of classical aesthetics
proposed by Lavie and Tractinsky (2004) can be considered
as one validated dimension to measure visual aesthetics in
human-technology interaction.
Overall Ratings
usability high usability low
aesthetics high
aesthetics low
Figure 4. Overall ratings for the four conditions.
Selected results of two studies are reported that used the
dimension of classical aesthetics proposed by Lavie and
Tractinsky (2004) to better understand the relation of
perceived visual aesthetics to the perception of usability,
emotional user reactions and consequences of the user
Study 1
Simulations of portable audio players were designed to
influence the perceptions of instrumental and non-
instrumental qualities experimentally and independently
(Mahlke & Thüring, 2007). To produce two versions with
different impact on perceived instrumental qualities, the
information presentation on the display was varied (the
number of simultaneously discernible menu lines: five
versus two, a scrollbar on the left side as indicator for
available but hidden menu items: given or not, and a cue
about the actual position in the menu hierarchy at the top of
the display: given or not). With respect to system features
that should influence the perception of non-instrumental
qualities, we manipulated the visual aesthetics by creating
two different body designs (symmetry: high and low, color
combination: low and high color differences, and shape:
round and square). The variations resulted in four different
combinations: (a) ‘high usability' and ‘high aesthetics', (b)
‘high usability' and ‘low aesthetics', (c) ‘low usability' and
‘high aesthetics', (d) ‘low usability' and ‘low aesthetics'.
Forty-eight individuals participated in the study. All
participants tested two of the simulations. Five short tasks
were given to the participants for each version. Before
accomplishing the tasks, subjects rated the visual aesthetics
of the version. During task completion, heart rate and
dermal activity as physiological measures as well as an
EMG to assess facial expressions were applied. After
completing each task, participants filled in a scale to
measure subjective feelings. When all tasks were finished,
the usability of the system was rated, and finally the two
system versions were ranked.
The results showed that the variations of usability as well as
aesthetics had the predicted impact on the perception of
both types of qualities (Figure 2). Systems with features
associated with a high degree of usability and attractiveness
received better ratings than their impaired counterparts. No
interaction effect was found for neither of the variables.
The results of the subjective feelings questionnaire revealed
that the effect of usability was greater than the one of visual
aesthetics for both the valence and the arousal of the
subjective feelings. Consequently, the system of high
usability and appealing design was experienced as most
satisfying, while the system of low usability and least
attractiveness was most annoying. Since no statistical
interaction of usability and aesthetics was found, both
factors contributed to these emotions additively (Figure 3).
Finally, the overall judgments pointed in the same direction
as the ratings of perceived qualities and emotions, and
revealed a greater impact of usability on the overall
appraisal of the systems (Figure 4).
usability low / ae
thetics low
usability low / aesthetics high
usability high / aesthetics low
usability high / aesthetics high
Figure 3. SAM ratings for the four systems
(squared high vs. round low usability; filled high
vs. unfilled low aesthetics).
Perceived Usability
usability high usability low
Perceived Visual Aesthetics
usability high usability low
aesthetics high
aesthetics low
Figure 2. Perceived usability and visual aesthetics
Table 1. Regression analysis of subjective feelings using
usability and visual aesthetics ratings as predictors –
overall, only for hi
gh and only for low CVPA.
Table 2. Regression analysis of subjective feelings using
usability and visual aesthetics ratings as predictors -
overall, only for goal-mode and only for action-mode.
Study 2
In a second study, four similar simulations of portable audio
players were used that differed in usability and visual
aesthetics (Mahlke & Lindgaard, 2007). Furthermore,
contextual parameters were varied. In a goal-mode
participants had to accomplish given tasks, while they had
the same amount of time to explore the system on their own
in an action-mode (Hassenzahl & Ullrich, 2007).
Additionally, data was collected in two cultural settings
(North America and Europe) to address differences in user
characteristics and users’ centrality of visual product
aesthetics (CVPA) was taken into account (Bloch, Brunel &
Arnold, 2003). The same methods as in Study 1 were used
to measure the components of user experience.
Study 2 replicated the results regarding the independence of
the influence of the perception of instrumental (i.e.
usability) and non-instrumental qualities (i.e. visual
aesthetics) and their influence on emotional user reactions
and overall judgments.
Furthermore, Study 2 demonstrated the relevance of user
characteristics and contextual parameters. The influence of
centrality of visual product aesthetics on the interrelations
of user experience components was demonstrated. The
influence of perceived visual aesthetics on subjective
feelings was higher for users with a high CVPA value
(Table 1). A similar effect was found for overall judgments.
The usage situation as an example of context variation
showed additional impact. The influence of perceived
visual aesthetics on subjective feelings was higher for users
in action-mode than in goal-mode (Table 2). Again, a
similar effect was found for overall judgments.
In the user experience framework, no direct link between
instrumental and non-instrumental quality perceptions is
made, although previous empirical studies have shown an
influence of visual aesthetics on perceptions of usability
(Tractinsky et al., 2000). However, Hassenzahl (2007)
explains these findings as a result of attribute overlap. He
argues that it is possible that already the system attributes
that have been varied to influence visual aesthetics are also
related to usability. Furthermore, other studies have not
replicated these interrelations (Lindgaard & Dudek, 2003).
The findings of Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that it is
possible to manipulate groups of system properties, which
either influence instrumental or non-instrumental quality
perceptions. In this case, properties that are associated with
information presentation had an impact on the perception of
usability and system properties related to product
appearance determined users’ perceived visual aesthetics.
In this way, it was possible to resolve the problem of
attribute overlap and to demonstrate that instrumental and
non-instrumental quality perceptions occur independently.
Therefore, the suggestion by Tractinsky et al. (2000) who
claim what is beautiful is usable has to be reconsidered.
The studies also show the relevance of perceived visual
aesthetics for emotional user reactions and consequences of
user experience. However, the relation of perceived visual
aesthetics and emotional aspects of user experience have to
be studied further. Various authors discuss a direct
influence of the interaction on affective components of user
experience. For example, Hassenzahl (2006) differentiates
emotions as consequences of product use and affective
reactions. Referring to Zajonc (1980) and Schwarz and
Clore (1983), he describes how affective reactions can
influence the cognitive processing of information about the
interactive product. These affective reactions may in
particular play a role in the perception of aesthetic aspects
since aesthetic appreciation is often described as a partly
affective process (Hassenzahl, 2007).
From my point of view, further challenges regarding visual
aesthetics in human-technology interaction that should be
addressed in the future are the role of inter-individual
differences of aesthetic judgments that seem more
important as for example in comparison to the perception of
usability issues and the consideration of visual aesthetics in
interactive system design projects.
This research was sponsored by the German Research
Foundation (DFG) as part of the Research Training Group
‘Prospective engineering of Human-Technology Interaction'
(no. 1013). The German Academic Exchange Service
(DAAD) supported Study 2.
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Les technologies émergentes de l’hydrogène énergie s’intégreront dans des systèmes énergétiques futurs, qui n’existeront pas avant plusieurs années. Dans ce cas, l’analyse des situations actuelles d’usages est utile, mais aussi insuffisante, car elle ne permet pas d’identifier les besoins des utilisateurs qui seraient en rupture avec les usages actuels. L’ergonomie doit donc évoluer pour identifier prématurément les besoins futurs qui pourraient être associés à ces systèmes qui n’existent pas encore. Néanmoins, l’anticipation de besoins futurs est difficile car les utilisateurs ont une représentation pauvre du futur et des artefacts et activités futurs. De plus, les concepteurs se réfèrent à une représentation hypothétique des utilisateurs et ils se basent sur l’analyse de situations présentes pour inférer des besoins futurs. La définition d’idées d’artefacts futurs est aussi problématique car les utilisateurs n’ont pas les connaissances suffisantes et les concepteurs se focalisent sur les aspects techniques, ont des difficultés à intégrer les utilisateurs et ont tendance à se restreindre à leurs connaissances actuelles des utilisateurs et des artefacts. Cette thèse vise à identifier des méthodes qui soutiennent une idéation centrée sur les utilisateurs futurs. Pour répondre à cet objectif, cette recherche propose d’évaluer et d’appliquer à l’hydrogène énergie, une méthodologie qui repose sur (1) l’implication d’utilisateurs précurseurs dans le cadre d’entretiens d’anticipation des besoins et (2) sur le recours à la méthode du persona prospectif avec des experts du domaine. Cette thèse s’articule autour de trois études. L’étude 1 est une méta-analyse de la littérature scientifique sur l’hydrogène énergie. Cette étude a montré que l’usage d’hydrogène énergie pour l’habitat est peu étudié alors qu’il constitue une application prometteuse et que la prise en compte des utilisateurs à cet égard est insuffisante. L’étude 2 porte sur l’analyse d’entretiens d’anticipation des besoins. Les résultats indiquent que les utilisateurs précurseurs permettent d’identifier des besoins futurs qu’ils expérimentent actuellement et qu’ils ont une représentation riche du domaine qui leur permet d’imaginer de nouveaux besoins futurs. L’étude 3 s’attache à l’analyse de séances de créativité réalisées avec un persona ordinaire, un persona prospectif ou sans persona. Les résultats indiquent que le persona prospectif favorise la production d’idées nouvelles et faisables.
... In spite of various UX model there is one comprehensive UX model proposed by [9] which specifies three UX core components and the relationship among it known as Component Model of User Experience (CUE-Model). In 2008, the model has been justified by [10] and the enhancement of the model lead towards the new model. The model addresses instrumental and non-instrumental quality as well as emotions responses by user towards technology. ...
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The increasing number of aging populations worldwide versus vast developments in mobile technology creates questions on how older adults adapt and apply mobile technology in their daily life. This research focused on Islamic spiritual user experience for older adult users because older adults are claimed to be more spiritually inclined as they aged. Despite high profile calls for research in the area of spirituality, the research pertaining spirituality in HCI is still in infancy state. Recent literatures discover most studies focus on design for Islamic spiritual user experience and evaluation of spiritual application for adult users, but fundamental of spirituality and its elements from the view of user experience is limited. Therefore, this study employs qualitative method approach within an interpretive paradigm to propose a new model for Spiritual User Experience from the perspective of Islamic older adult users. The Geneva Emotional Musical Scale (GEMS) was adopted as a theoretical lens in order to gain deeper insights on the spirituality elements. A single case study was conducted to research on the spirituality user experience elements among older adults. The triangulation of qualitative data collection through 3E diary, interviews and observations was done. All data were analyzed verbatimly using thematic analysis. Six themes emerged from the analysis which are effectiveness, efficiency, learnability, satisfaction, sublimity and vitality. These themes are further categorized into 10 attributes; effectiveness (accessibility features), efficiency (simplicity and portability), learnability, satisfaction (attractiveness and reliability), sublimity (transcendence and peacefulness) and vitality (energy and joyful activation). These are embedded into a model called Spiritual User Experience (iSUX) which are evaluated by the Islamic religious experts, user experience expert and older adult’s representatives. In conclusion, the Spiritual User Experience (iSUX) is hope to increase the understanding of spirituality from the domain of user experience.
... Han et al. (2018) presented a UX model for AR applications in urban heritage tourism through the identification of AR-related factors that influence users' satisfaction. This study extends the theoretical aspect of the UX model by Hassenzahl (2004) through the empirical confirmation of the work by Mahlke (2008). The initial stage consisted of data collection through a targeted number of groups. ...
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This chapter reviews the different models of user experience (UX) and user engagement (UE) proposed for Augmented Reality (AR) systems and discusses their applicability to the Cultural Heritage (CH). Traditional models of UX and UE are not totally adaptable to the current trends in the AR continuum for the CH domain. Thus, an important HCI research area that requires investigation is the evaluation of UX and UE factors for AR systems in the CH field. This chapter proposes a conceptual framework model for assessing UX and UE in AR systems. Initially, the UX categories (such as instrumental, cognitive, emotional, sensory, social and motivational) are investigated thoroughly to have a deep understanding of all the related components. Further, the UE factors (such as aesthetics, interest, goal, novelty, interactivity, gamification and learning) are identified and categorised. Twenty AR systems in the CH domain (AR-CH) have been selected based on pre-defined criteria and evaluated against a list of derived AR characteristics. The gaps in current literature have been considered to formulate a comprehensive framework for the assessment of UX and UE factors in AR-CH systems. Metrics and methods are investigated and identified for the measurement of the UX and UE factors. This chapter lays a solid foundation for the assessment of UX and UE factors in AR-CH systems, which has the potential to help AR system developers with identifying and improving the most UX and UE influential factors in their systems.
... For example, Inbar et al. [29] hypothesize that VEs can improve user experience, and demonstrate that small amounts of VEs improve perceived system aesthetic. Likewise, there is ample research suggesting benefits of visual beauty (supported by VEs) for perceived usability, e.g., [20,22,40]. In terms of the impact of VEs on cognitive load, Bateman et al. [4] demonstrate that VEs have no impact on the interpretation of information. ...
Conference Paper
Visual embellishments (VEs) are design elements that support information already conveyed by other means. In games, this concept is known as juiciness, and refers to the provision of redundant feedback in situations where a single player action triggers multiple non-functional reactions. Academia and industry both view the concept as a means of improving player experience; however, empirical evidence to back the assumption is lacking. Here, we present findings from two studies: one initial study with 40 participants comparing the effects of visual embellishments in two research games, the Frogger-clone Cuber, and the FPS game Dungeon Descent, and a second study with 32 participants using the commercially available game Quake 3 Arena. Results show that visual embellishments contribute to the visual appeal of all games, but only affects aspects such as competence under specific circumstances. We discuss implications of our findings for the integration of visual embellishments and juiciness, and their relevance for game development.
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Every day, the architecture and built environment we inhabit envelopes our minds and bodies and influences how we feel and mentally behave.
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Collective self-consumption and waste energy recovery are appealing opportunities to tackle climate change, albeit complex to implement. Multiple stakeholders and objectives are involved; investment is needed in intermediate units whose ownership may be unclear and the space for feasible solutions – let alone that for optimal solutions – may be small, among other considerations. This chapter proposes a methodology to facilitate the technical design of energy community projects involving multiple stakeholders, typically producers and consumers in proximity to each other, and potentially connected by intermediate aggregators. The first and main innovation is OMEGAlpes, an open-source tool facilitating the use of mixed-integer linear programming for energy systems design. By means of anticipatory simulation, this tool optimizes the use of equipment throughout a project’s lifespan. The second innovation combines OMEGAlpes with multi-criteria analysis, putting forward a locally optimal design per stakeholder and criterion. Such assessment may include many quantitative criteria: energy, economy, exergy and environment, among others. The third and last innovation consists of a cross-analysis matrix and a multi-criteria radar, which represent overall performance and stakeholder convenience for each locally-optimal design. The three innovations are combined in an iterative procedure that determines the space of suitable solutions depending on stakeholders’ priorities, thus facilitating subsequent negotiations.
Cued Recall Debriefing (CRD) is a form of retrospective think aloud approach. It involves re-immersing users to a level where emotional responses are comparable to those experienced during actual interaction with a system. To validate whether the robustness of CRD would vary with the time gap between the actual and recalled event and with the affective state preceding the recall, two empirical studies with altogether 100 participants were conducted. Specifically, participants’ emotions were measured in terms of galvanic skin response (GSR) , heart rate (HR) , and self-assessment manikin (SAM) rating when they were interacting with an email client seeded with usability problems. The same measures were taken when they viewed the videoed interactions. Two between-subject variables were ‘intervening time’ (from 0 minutes up to 24 hours) and ‘intervening affect’ (images with different valence and arousal). Advanced computational models were applied to optimise the shifting of GSR/HR waves generated at the actual interaction and recall phases, which were found to be significantly correlated. The shifting process is necessary for addressing the memory effect and is a methodological innovation. Overall, CRD proved to be a robust method that can be deployed to a broad range of HCI research and practice contexts.
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In the past, research on human-technology interaction has almost exclusively concentrated on aspects of usefulness and usability. Despite the success of this line of research, its narrow perspective has recently become a target for criticism. To explain why people prefer some systems over others, factors such as aesthetic qualities and emotional experiences play an important role in addition to instrumental aspects. In the following, we report three experiments that illustrate the importance of such factors. In the first experiment, we study the role of emotions in human-technology interaction by using Scherer's (1984) component theory of emotions as a theoretical foundation. A combination of methods is derived from that theory and employed to measure subjective feelings, motor expressions, physiological reactions, cognitive appraisals, and behaviour. The results demonstrate that the manipulation of selected system properties may lead to differences in usability that affect emotional user reactions. The second experiment investigates the interplay of instrumental and non-instrumental system qualities. The results show that users' overall appraisal of a technical device is influenced by both groups of qualities. In the third experiment, we join the approaches of the first two studies to analyse the influence of usability and aesthetics within a common design. The results indicate that systems differing in these aspects affect the perception of instrumental and non-instrumental qualities as well as the users' emotional experience and their overall appraisal of the system. Summarizing our results, we present a model specifying three central components of user experience and their interrelations (CUE-Model). The model integrates the most important aspects of human-technology interaction and hints at a number of interesting issues for future research.
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The physical form or design of a product is an unquestioned determinant of its marketplace success. A good design attracts consumers to a product, communicates to them, and adds value to the product by increasing the quality of the usage experiences associated with it. Nevertheless, the topic of product design is rarely it ever, encountered in marketing journals. To bring needed attention to the subject of product design and enable researchers to better investigate design issues, the author introduces a conceptual model and several propositions that describe how the form of a product relates to consumers' psychological and behavioral responses. After presenting this model, the author describes numerous strategic implications and research directions.
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Over the last decade, 'user experience' (UX) became a buzzword in the field of human – computer interaction (HCI) and interaction design. As technology matured, interactive products became not only more useful and usable, but also fashionable, fascinating things to desire. Driven by the impression that a narrow focus on interactive products as tools does not capture the variety and emerging aspects of technology use, practitioners and researchers alike, seem to readily embrace the notion of UX as a viable alternative to traditional HCI. And, indeed, the term promises change and a fresh look, without being too specific about its definite meaning. The present introduction to the special issue on 'Empirical studies of the user experience' attempts to give a provisional answer to the question of what is meant by 'the user experience'. It provides a cursory sketch of UX and how we think UX research will look like in the future. It is not so much meant as a forecast of the future, but as a proposal – a stimulus for further UX research.
The physical form or design of a product is an unquestioned determinant of its marketplace success. A good design attracts consumers to a product, communicates to them, and adds value to the product by increasing the quality of the usage experiences associated with it. Nevertheless, the topic of product design is rarely, if ever, encountered in marketing journals. To bring needed attention to the subject of product design and enable researchers to better investigate design issues, the author introduces a conceptual model and several propositions that describe how the form of a product relates to consumers’ psychological and behavioral responses. After presenting this model, the author describes numerous strategic implications and research directions.
Human-computer interaction (HCI) can be defined as a discipline, which is concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems [products] for human use (Hewett et al, 1996). Evaluation and design require a definition of what constitutes a good or bad product and, thus, a definition of interactive product quality (IPQ). Usability is such a widely accepted definition. ISO 9241 Part 11 (ISO, 1998) defines it as the “extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” Although widely accepted, this definition’s focus on tasks and goals, their efficient achievement and the involved cognitive information processes repeatedly caused criticism, as far back as Carroll and Thomas’ (1988) emphatic plea not to forget the “fun” over simplicity and efficiency (see also Carroll, 2004). Since then, several attempts have been made to broaden and enrich HCI’s narrow, work-related view on IPQ (see, for example, Blythe, Overbeeke, Monk, & Wright, 2003; Green & Jordan, 2002; Helander & Tham, 2004). The objective of this article is to provide an overview of HCI current theoretical approaches to an enriched IPQ. Specifically, needs that go beyond the instrumental and the role of emotions, affect, and experiences are discussed. Purchase this chapter to continue reading all 7 pages >
Human factors engineers typically concern themselves with issues of product functionality measured in terms of users' task completion times and/or error rates. However, a product is not only a means to accomplish specific goals but a perceptual object whose sensory attributes mediate a certain "look and feel." The present study sought to identify the visual appearance attributes of automotive audio systems that impact qualitative response to products. Results revealed specific visual appearance attributes that contributed separately to the perception of stylish appearance, 3D shape, visual complexity and cost/quality.
Human Factors (HF) has traditionally concerned itself with usability, effectiveness and efficiency without regard for the impact that the ‘look and feel’ of products and services might have on human performance. Recent research shows clearly that aesthetics, a ubiquitous, powerful function that permeates the design of products and services, matters. Within a consumer-driven industrial society it is ignored at the manufacturer's or service provider's peril. In order to encourage HF researchers to begin thinking about aesthetics in design, this paper attempts to position aesthetics within an evolutionary context, and to provide both a psychological framework and physiological underpinnings. Whitfield's Collative-Motivation models of aesthetics is outlined to account for results from much of the experimental research on preferences. Barnard's Interacting Cognitive Sub-systems (ICS) architecture is discussed in some detail, as, contrary to most other cognitive frameworks, it allows smooth integration of cognition and emotion. Physiological processes involved in emotional responses are discussed and the ICS framework is applied to explain both these results and findings suggesting that ‘emotion precedes cognition’. Finally, the integration of aesthetics and the Collative-Motivation model within the ICS framework is attempted.