Aesthetics in HCI

29 Jul 2009 - 4:09am
4 years ago
6 replies
327 reads
Jarod Tang
2007

Maybe don's book and article is interesting to you,
http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/emotion_design.html

Most of don's view on this topic are very interesting, but one things needs
to think twice, it's a more complex topic about the relationships between
aethetics ( perception as well as experience ) and interaction ( usability
and use experience), which surely beyond "beautiful object works better".

Besides, aesthetics of interaction contributes to using experience or using
beauty as some designers adopted.

Cheers,
-- Jarod

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 1:29 PM, marioTN <sommario at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all!
> I have a simple (?) question: "how is aesthetics defined and how
> much important is it for interaction design?"
>
> For me aesthetics is the feeling that you have, while you are
> admiring/interacting/breathing something that elicits inner
> emotions.
>
> What's your opinion?
>
> Thank you,
> mario.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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--
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

Comments

29 Jul 2009 - 7:42am
Dave Malouf
2005

Aesthetics exists at so many different levels of perception &
experience. No denying that visual is the most powerful part of
aesthetic response, but even then how we respond emotionally to a
situation will change our cognitive responses of everything
contextually related to that situation and thus will have AN effect
(which is the core of Norman's thesis).

I have gone a bit further with this. Building off of the Kenetic
Aesthetics thinks who look at how the movements we make create an
aesthetic response. Motion and which motions we ask a user to do in a
design has a response and can elicit of a feeling of beauty.

I strongly came to this after play capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian
martial art) for some time. I started to notice that as I improved
that the motions that felt best often were the right moves at that
time. So the feeling engendered in the motion effected my perception
of success.

You can take this now to the gesture level (even gestures with a
mouse) and compare the response of doing a simple click to center a
map vs. dragging the clipped imagery of a map to the point you want
it. There is more than just motion at play here, but it is definitely
a more satisfying motion, but by Fitz Law it might actually be counter
intuitive and definitely less efficient (except that I get direct
exact placement).

I think that my talk at From Business to Buttons may address some of
this (http://businesstobuttons.com/ has the vids or from my blog.
Lots of other great vids from that conference as well.)

I'll just add that you asked this from the point of view of HCI,
which I find interesting. Is there a reason why you said HCI instead
of IxD? Are these in this context meant as synonyms? If so, then I
would say that you can't design without addressing all manners of
aesthetics in a system. Heck we barely ever touch on audio aesthetics
in our community and this is a HUGE part of the immersive experience,
and HUGE part of haptic feedback making systems perform better.

-- dave
-- dave

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29 Jul 2009 - 11:10am
pnuschke
2007

That's only part of it. Aesthetics gives varying levels of priority to the
components on a page. Just a basic example: image a text heading use three
times on a page. Depending upon the font type that heading will communicate
different emotions (e.g., courier or comic sans) and will have varying
levels of readability. If it's gray it will recede and if it's red it will
stand out. If it's too big, it overwhelms the page. Too small and it's hard
to read.

The feel is important, but so is the priority, and the optimal balance
depends on the audience.

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 1:29 AM, marioTN <sommario at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all!
> I have a simple (?) question: "how is aesthetics defined and how
> much important is it for interaction design?"
>
> For me aesthetics is the feeling that you have, while you are
> admiring/interacting/breathing something that elicits inner
> emotions.
>
> What's your opinion?
>
> Thank you,
> mario.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Paul Nuschke
Principal, Research & Strategy
ELECTRONIC INK©
www.electronicink.com

29 Jul 2009 - 11:39am
Jennifer Vignone
2008

>From the application perspective:

I think the aesthetics impart more meaning to the HCI, providing focus and direction to how the elements are ordered and looked at.

I also think the notion of a "beautiful application" is possible. For me, that is also the goal and what sets one application from another. Given that functionality might be basically equal in two applications, the design that takes the time to provide a useful and usable functionality with a design that interprets the requirements into a unique visual experience sets itself apart.

From the marketing perspective, an application that incorporates both elements in its development is easier to sell, provided the functionality is there and works as it is desired and supposed to work. If the application also provides all of the necessary support materials, all the better. This is all part of the total application environment/experience.

Jennifer

=====================================================

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Paul Nuschke
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:11 PM
To: marioTN
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Aesthetics in HCI

That's only part of it. Aesthetics gives varying levels of priority to the
components on a page. Just a basic example: image a text heading use three
times on a page. Depending upon the font type that heading will communicate
different emotions (e.g., courier or comic sans) and will have varying
levels of readability. If it's gray it will recede and if it's red it will
stand out. If it's too big, it overwhelms the page. Too small and it's hard
to read.

The feel is important, but so is the priority, and the optimal balance
depends on the audience.

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 1:29 AM, marioTN <sommario at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all!
> I have a simple (?) question: "how is aesthetics defined and how
> much important is it for interaction design?"
>
> For me aesthetics is the feeling that you have, while you are
> admiring/interacting/breathing something that elicits inner
> emotions.
>
> What's your opinion?
>
> Thank you,
> mario.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Paul Nuschke
Principal, Research & Strategy
ELECTRONIC INK(c)
www.electronicink.com
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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29 Jul 2009 - 12:50pm
Mike Myles
2009

What is aesthetics, and what is it's role in design?... A simple
question?... Really?

OK, a simple answer then.

Aesthetics: The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and
expression of beauty. (American Heritage Dictionary)

As for it's importance in interaction design, one could safely say
that - everything else being equal between two options - most if not
all people would chose to use/purchase the one found to be more
aesthetically pleasing. This is to say that we associate a value to
beauty.

Is perceived beauty more, less or equally important to ease of use,
feature set, performance, etc? What about cultural, age, gender, and
other differences that may influence perception of beauty? The whole
issue quickly becomes very complex.

Lets say you are looking to appeal to an audience that self
identifies as cutting edge, trend setting, and unique. If those
people are served up a product that has an appearance that appeals to
the masses they will likely reject it without consideration. They will
gravitate to items that intentionally fall outside the mainstream, and
that may even shock or offend more conservative demographics. They
have an aesthetic (as we all do) that is in many ways defined by the
actions and reactions of others.

My point, aesthetics/beauty certainly has value, but the extent of
that value and it's implications on other aspects of a design are
very dependent on the particular product.

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30 Jul 2009 - 10:36am
Anonymous

I love this article:
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/indefenseofeyecandy/

Hopefully it will help...

Stu Collett
http://www.superuserstudio.com

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4 Aug 2009 - 9:36am
Anonymous

Thank you all for your suggestions.

Dave's (and Graham) reply is the one I agree the most with. If I
have well understood your replies, aesthetics is usually confused
with beauty.

I think that beauty is a property of the object and linked more to
the cultural context, while aesthetics is the feeling of the observer
and proper of the user. Finally, beauty is limited to the visual
perception (or to a single modality), while aesthetics is the results
of different perception modalities, mixed together with sensations,
feelings, memories...

>From this point of view it becomes very challenging for us to
understand how this mix of information could be transferred by a
system to the user.

ciao,
M(c)

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