Is beautiful really usable? : toward understanding the relation between usability, aesthetics, and affect in HCI

Tuch, A. and Roth, S. P. and Hornbæk, K. and Opwis, K. and Bargas-Avila, J. A.. (2012) Is beautiful really usable? : toward understanding the relation between usability, aesthetics, and affect in HCI. Computers in human behavior, Vol. 28, H. 5. pp. 1596-1607.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6008444

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This paper analyzes the relation between usability and aesthetics. In a laboratory study, 80 participants used one of four different versions of the same online shop, differing in interface-aesthetics (low vs. high) and interface-usability (low vs. high). Participants had to find specific items and rate the shop before and after usage on perceived aesthetics and perceived usability, which were assessed using four validated instruments. Results show that aesthetics does not affect perceived usability. In contrast, usability has an effect on post-use perceived aesthetics. Our findings show that the ‘‘what is beautiful is usable’’ notion, which assumes that aesthetics enhances the perception of usability can be reversed under certain condi- tions (here: strong usability manipulation combined with a medium to large aesthetics manipulation). Furthermore, our results indicate that the user’s affective experience with the usability of the shop might serve as a mediator variable within the aesthetics–usability relation: The frustration of poor usability lowers ratings on perceived aesthetics. The significance of the results is discussed in context of the exist- ing research on the relation between aesthetics and usability.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Society & Choice > Allgemeine Psychologie und Methodologie (Opwis)
UniBasel Contributors:Bargas-Avila, Javier Andrés and Tuch, Alexandre N and Roth, Sandra and Hornbæk, Kasper and Opwis, Klaus
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:11 Oct 2012 15:31
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 15:20

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