The Beauty Dilemma

Authors Sarah Diefenbach, Marc Hassenzahl

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Sarah Diefenbach
Marc Hassenzahl

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Sarah Diefenbach and Marc Hassenzahl. The Beauty Dilemma. In The Study of Visual Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 8292, pp. 1-5, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2008)


Many researchers and practitioners of Human-Computer interaction (HCI) acknowledge the idea that it needs more than usability and usefulness to design truly pleasurable experiences with products. Certainly, usability is needed, but the users’ desires go beyond the prevention of the negative, such as problems and failures – they seek for the positive, pleasurable, stimulating and inspiring experience. This calls for a shift from the mere task accomplishment to the users’ needs and aspirations, their Self. Especially the role of beauty gains more and more interest as its importance for the users’ product valuation has been recognized. Unfortunately, it is not that easy to accomplish the enrichment of the users’ experience by adding beauty: although beauty is appreciated while product use, it often is disregarded while product choice. The present paper's objective is to point out the dilemma that arises when beauty meets technology in a choice situation.
  • Beauty Dilemma
  • Lay Rationalism
  • Justification


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