Visual aesthetics and the user experience

Author Sascha Mahlke

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Sascha Mahlke

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Sascha Mahlke. Visual aesthetics and the user experience. 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)


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.
  • User experience
  • non-instrumental qualities
  • visual aesthetics
  • emotional user reactions


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