The relationship between visual interface aesthetics, task performance, and preference

Salimun, Carolyn (2013) The relationship between visual interface aesthetics, task performance, and preference. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The purpose of this thesis was to develop a conceptual framework that shows the relationship between aesthetics, performance, and preference in computer interface
design. To investigate this relationship, the thesis focused on investigating the effect of layout aesthetics on visual search performance and preference.

This thesis begins with a literature review of related work followed by the rationale for conducting this research, in particular, defining what it meant by visual aesthetics in the context of interface design.

Chapter 4 focused on investigating the effect of layout aesthetics on performance and preference. The results show that response time performance and preference increased
with increasing aesthetic level. Preference and performance were found to be highly correlated.

Chapter 5 focused on investigating users’ layout preference when they were not involved with a performance-based task. The results showed, surprisingly, that preference was highest with a “moderate” level of layout aesthetics and lowest with “high” and “low” levels of aesthetics.

Chapter 6 focused on investigating visual effort by measuring eye movement pattern during task performance. The results showed that visual effort increased with a
decreasing level of aesthetics.

Chapter 7 extended the experiment in Chapter 4 using more “ecologically valid” stimuli. The results essentially replicated the results produced in Chapter 4.

Chapter 8 focused on investigating the relationship between so-called “classical” aesthetics and background “expressive” aesthetics. The results showed that task
performance using classical aesthetics was highest with high and low levels of aesthetics and worst with medium levels of aesthetics. Performance with expressive
aesthetics increased with decreasing aesthetic levels.

This thesis concludes with a conceptual framework for aesthetic design to help interface designers design interfaces that look aesthetically pleasing while at the same time supporting good task performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Visual interface, aesthetics, task performance, preference
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Supervisor's Name: Purchase, Dr. Helen C. and Simmons, Dr. David R.
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Carolyn Salimun
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4256
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 May 2013 13:51
Last Modified: 15 May 2013 13:56

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