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Insight into how people mentally represent, and thus, make sense of visual designs is the key to understanding how people interact with technological devices. This paper presents a study in which participants were asked to write their interpretations of two webpage design examples, based on what they thought they would say and what would remain as a thought. The data comprised 80 3E-templates (N = 40), a template allowing participants to express experiences through writing and drawing. Inductive data analysis through a phenomenological lens revealed that supposed mental and verbal representations concentrated on the following design properties: colors, themes, interface layout and quality, which are further reflected in terms of visual usability, aesthetic evaluations, emotions and physical feelings. Representations of themes functioned as the unifying components of the visual experience. Involvement through curiosity and strategic operationalisation of ambiguity are identified as direct design implications of the study.
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... In each coding cycle the codes were carefully discussed in the research team in order to achieve consensus. We undertook iterative content-analysis, performed by multiple people in order to refine the coding of content-analysis findings [53,54]. Then, once agreement was made between the researchers, the final constructs were derived. ...
... Even if it may be too bold to label this as an aesthetic turn, researchers in the field have testified to have a growing interest in aesthetic value. Attention has been directed towards the nature of aesthetic experiences in relation to HCI, such as a dynamic and contextually bound "interaction aesthetics" (Xenakis & Arnellos, 2013, p. 59) or "user interest, excitement and satisfying experiences" (Sutcliffe, 2010, p. vi; see also Engholm, 2010;Lindegaard, 2007;Silvennoinen, Rousi, & Mononen, 2017). Moreover, the focus of research has been on the role of beauty in the designed interfaces and devices (e.g., Bollini, 2017;Tractinsky, 2004;Tuch, Roth, Hornbaek, Opwis, & Bargas-Avila, 2012) or on questions of visual styles in interfaces and interactive design (e.g., Buur & Stienstra, 2007;Engholm, 2008), such as website design. ...
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In this article, I enter into a discussion of how aesthetics can be conceptualized in the context of design and related to the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). I contest the current trend in design aesthetics that primarily focuses on beauty, pleasure, and the creation of emotional appeal by means of the sensual and visual elements of the design. Conversely, I advocate for a series of concepts related to aesthetics, such as reflectivity, representation, and epistemology, as these point aesthetics beyond the immediate sensual and visual. Through these concepts, a deeper understanding of the character of the relationship between humans and design can be obtained: Design objects and HCI solutions can be more accurately described in their roles as interfaces for how humans approach the world. This broader perspective on aesthetics has implication for practice when designers set the task of creating new experiences for the users. © 2018 Tore Gulden and the Open Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä.
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