Perceived Website Aesthetics by Users and Designers: Implications for Evaluation Practice

Perceived Website Aesthetics by Users and Designers: Implications for Evaluation Practice

Panayiotis Koutsabasis (Department of Product & Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean, Syros, Greece) and Theano G. Istikopoulou (Department of Product & Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean, Syros, Greece)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jthi.2013040103
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Abstract

The set up of practical methods for evaluation of web site aesthetics from the user perspective and the provision of useful feedback to designers is an open issue in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The paper presents an evaluation study of aesthetic attributes of two web sites from the user perspective and compares the results to the design team. The study initially involved the formulation of a set of aesthetic attributes and their appreciation by a user group of 111 users for two web sites, following a traditional user testing approach. The user evaluation was then compared to the design team’s appreciation of these aesthetic attributes for their own designs. The main results of this test was that: (a) the two groups have a similar view about the presence of a considerable number of the selected aesthetic attributes; (b) users have rated most aesthetic attributes significantly lower than designers; (c) different aesthetic attributes become important for different objects of study for both groups. The design team found the evaluation informative and inspiring; however they identified the need for further explanation of user responses in terms of suggested design patterns and examples. Also, a number of recommendations towards an evaluation method of aesthetics in HCI are identified and discussed
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Over the last few years, the study of aesthetics in HCI attempts to identify the relationship of aesthetics to other dimensions of the interaction experience, especially usability. In addition, researchers in this area set out to investigate the essential nature of aesthetics in terms of evaluation studies that examine various aesthetic attributes that have been proposed to constitute the total aesthetic value of web sites.

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