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Usability and Aesthetics: is beautiful more usable
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

When discussing matters of usability, focus is usually kept on functionality whilst other aspects, such as aesthetics, are neglected. Discussions of aesthetics are on the other hand traditionally kept within the area of fine arts. Considering that both usability and aesthetics are of big importance in people’s lives, it is astonishing to find that their relationship has not been fully explored. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to, with interfaces of a Volvo Logistics environmental calculation tool, explore whether aesthetics (in the form of visual beauty) would affect the perceived usability of a system. Hence, the question of research has been whether a visually attractive user interface will be perceived as more usable than a less attractive one when usability/functionality is kept constant? (Or in more general terms; is beautiful more usable?)

To achieve this, two interfaces with the same functionality but with different levels of visual beauty were designed and used in an experiment where participants rated perceived usability and appearance. The results of the experiment were expected; participants perceived the better looking interface as more usable whereas actual usability appears to have been constant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för datavetenskap , 2007. , 63 p.
Keyword [en]
usability, aesthetics, beauty, functionality
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-9269ISRN: LIU-KOGVET-D--07/08--SEOAI: diva2:23831
2007-02-16, Alan Turing, E-huset, Linköping, 00:00
Available from: 2007-06-21 Created: 2007-06-21

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