Gitte Lindgaard

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Gitte Lindgaard, PhD, is a Distinguished Research Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and a Professor of Neuroaffective Design at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Until recently, she was Director of the Human Oriented Technology Lab (HOTLab) holding the prestigious Canadian Natural Science & Engineering Research Council's NSERC/Cognos Senior Industry Research Chair in User-Centred Product Design. Prior to that, she was Principal Scientist and Head of the Human Factors Team at Telstra Research Laboratories, Australia for 15 years. She was Chair of CHISIG of the Ergonomics Society of Australia (ESA) (1986-1992; 1998-2000) where she founded the OZCHI conference in 1986. She is a Fellow of the HF&ESA, the deputy editor of Interacting with Computers, and associate editor of several international HCI journals such as the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and The International Journal of Mobile HCI. Her research interests include aesthetics, cognition, and emotion in computing, and human decision making, especially in diagnostic medicine. She has published over 200 refereed papers, books, and book chapters.

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Brown, Judith M., Lindgaard, Gitte, Biddle, Robert (2012): Interactional identity: designers and developers making joint work meaningful and effectiv. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work , 2012, . pp. 1381-1390.

Lindgaard, Gitte, Dudek, Cathy, Sen, Devjani, Sumegi, Livia, Noonan, Patrick (2011): An exploration of relations between visual appeal, trustworthiness and perceived usability. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 18 (1) pp. .

Buie, Elizabeth A., Dray, Susan M., Instone, Keith E., Jain, Jhilmil, Lindgaard, Gitte, Lund, Arnold M. (2010): Researcher-practitioner interaction. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2010, . pp. 4469-4472.

Ferres, Leo, Lindgaard, Gitte, Sumegi, Livia (2010): Evaluating a tool for improving accessibility to charts and graphs. In: Twelfth Annual ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Assistive Technologies , 2010, . pp. 83-90.

Buie, Elizabeth, Dray, Susan M., Instone, Keith, Jain, Jhilmil, Lindgaard, Gitte, Lund, Arnie (2010): How to bring HCI research and practice closer together. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2010, . pp. 3181-3184.

Day, Donald, Lindgaard, Gitte, Noyes, Jan (2009): In Memoriam Brian Shackel 1927-2007. In Interacting with Computers, 21 (5) pp. 324.

Lindgaard, Gitte (2009): Early traces of usability as a science and as a profession. In Interacting with Computers, 21 (5) pp. 350-352.

Lindgaard, Gitte, Narasimhan, Sheila (2009): Mobile HCI: Thinking Beyond the Screen-Keyboard-Mouse Interaction Paradigm. In International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction, 1 (3) pp. 46-60.

Lindgaard, Gitte, Narasimhan, S. (2008): Factors influencing feature usage in work-related communication. In Behaviour and Information Technology, 27 (2) pp. 153-168.

Ferres, Leo, Verkhogliad, Petro, Sumegi, Livia, Boucher, Louis, Lachance, Martin, Lindgaard, Gitte (2008): A syntactic analysis of accessibility to a corpus of statistical graphs. In: Proceedings of the 2008 International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility W4A , 2008, . pp. 37-44.

Chattratichart, Jarinee, Lindgaard, Gitte (2008): A comparative evaluation of heuristic-based usability inspection methods. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008, . pp. 2213-2220.

Diaper, Dan, Lindgaard, Gitte (2008): West meets East: Adapting Activity Theory for HCI & CSCW applications?. In Interacting with Computers, 20 (2) pp. 240-246.

Ferres, Leo, Verkhogliad, Petro, Lindgaard, Gitte, Boucher, Louis, Chretien, Antoine, Lachance, Martin (2007): Improving accessibility to statistical graphs: the iGraph-Lite system. In: Ninth Annual ACM Conference on Assistive Technologies , 2007, . pp. 67-74.

Lindgaard, Gitte (2007): Intelligent decision support in medicine: back to Bayes?. In: Brinkman, Willem-Paul, Ham, Dong-Han, Wong, B. L. William (eds.) ECCE 2007 - Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics August 28-31, 2007, London, UK. pp. 7-8.

Mahlke, Sascha, Lindgaard, Gitte (2007): Emotional Experiences and Quality Perceptions of Interactive Products. In: Jacko, Julie A. (eds.) HCI International 2007 - 12th International Conference - Part I July 22-27, 2007, Beijing, China. pp. 164-173.

Lindgaard, Gitte (2007): Introducing HCI into an Organization: Making a Convincing Case for Usability. In: Baranauskas, Maria Cecília Calani, Palanque, Philippe A., Abascal, Julio, Barbosa, Simone Diniz Junqueira (eds.) DEGAS 2007 - Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Design and Evaluation of e-Government Applications and Services September 11th, 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. pp. 708-709.

Lindgaard, Gitte, Chattratichart, Jarinee (2007): Usability testing: what have we overlooked?. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , 2007, . pp. 1415-1424.

Lindgaard, Gitte, Fernandes, Gary, Dudek, Cathy, Brown, J. (2006): Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. In Behaviour and Information Technology, 25 (2) pp. 115-126.

Lindgaard, Gitte, Dillon, Richard, Trbovich, Patricia, White, Rachel, Fernandes, Gary, Lundahl, Sonny, Pinnamaneni, Anu (2006): User Needs Analysis and requirements engineering: Theory and practice. In Interacting with Computers, 18 (1) pp. 47-70.

Ferres, Leo, Parush, Avi, Roberts, Shelley, Lindgaard, Gitte (2006): Helping People with Visual Impairments Gain Access to Graphical Information Through Natura. In: Miesenberger, Klaus, Klaus, Joachim, Zagler, Wolfgang L., Karshmer, Arthur I. (eds.) ICCHP 2006 - Computers Helping People with Special Needs, 10th International Conference July 11-13, 2006, Linz, Austria. pp. 1122-1130.

Lindgaard, Gitte (2004): Adventurers versus nit-pickers on affective computing. In Interacting with Computers, 16 (4) pp. 723-728.

Lindgaard, Gitte (2004): Making the business our business: one path to value-added HCI. In Interactions, 11 (3) pp. 12-17.

Pilgrim, C. J., Leung, Ying K., Lindgaard, Gitte (2004): Supplemental Navigation Tools for Website Navigation - A Comparison of User Expectations a. In: Proceedings of the HCI04 Conference on People and Computers XVIII , 2004, . pp. 263-276.

Pilgrim, Chris, Lindgaard, Gitte, Leung, Ying K. (2004): Factors Influencing User Selection of WWW Sitemaps. In: Masoodian, Masood, Jones, Steve, Rogers, Bill (eds.) Computer Human Interaction 6th Asia Pacific Conference - APCHI 2004 June 29 - July 2, 2004, Rotorua, New Zealand. pp. 625-630.

Steiger, Patrick, Lindgaard, Gitte, Felix, Daniel, Millard, Nicola (2003): The Business Case of HCI. In: Proceedings of IFIP INTERACT03: Human-Computer Interaction , 2003, Zurich, Switzerland. pp. 1049.

Lindgaard, Gitte (2003): The Misapplication of Engineering Models to Business Decisions. In: Proceedings of IFIP INTERACT03: Human-Computer Interaction , 2003, Zurich, Switzerland. pp. 367.

Lindgaard, Gitte, Dudek, Cathy (2003): What is this evasive beast we call user satisfaction?. In Interacting with Computers, 15 (3) pp. 429-452.

Lindgaard, Gitte (2001): From the Ashes of Disaster into a Human Factors Boom: The Legacy of Large Databases. In: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , 2001, . pp. 1272-1276.

Lindgaard, Gitte (1995): Human Performance in Fault Diagnosis: Can Expert Systems Help?. In Interacting with Computers, 7 (3) pp. 254-272.

Lindgaard, Gitte (1994): Human Performance in Fault Diagnosis: Can Expert Systems Help?. In: Proceedings of OZCHI94, the CHISIG Annual Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , 1994, . pp. 241-246.

Bevan, Nigel, Harker, Susan, Lindgaard, Gitte, Hammond, Judith H. (1994): Standards in HCI. In: Proceedings of OZCHI94, the CHISIG Annual Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , 1994, . pp. 81-83.

Howard, Steve, Kaplan, I., Lindgaard, Gitte (1992): CHI in Australia. In: Bauersfeld, Penny, Bennett, John, Lynch, Gene (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 92 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference June 3-7, 1992, Monterey, California. pp. 573-574.

Lindgaard, Gitte (1992): Getting HCI on the Agenda: What\'s the Message?. In: Proceedings of OZCHI92, the CHISIG Annual Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , 1992, . pp. 182-189.

Lindgaard, Gitte (1992): Exploring HCI Into the \'90s: CHISIG Australia 1990 Conference Report. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 24 (1) pp. 14-17.

Lindgaard, Gitte (1991): Usefulness: The Ecological Value of Usability. In: Proceedings of OZCHI91, the CHISIG Annual Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , 1991, . pp. 9-14.

Lindgaard, Gitte (1990): Pioneering HCI Down Under: A Mixture of Perseverance and Fun. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 21 (4) pp. 65-69.

Lindgaard, Gitte

19.6 Commentary by Gitte Lindgaard

19.6.1 Context, processes, and measurements of visual aesthetics in HCI: A commentary to Tractinsky's chapter on visual aesthetics

In his chapter, Tractinsky provides a thorough review of the aesthetics-related literature in the Human-Computer Interaction arena and beyond and it is a pleasure to read. It is especially nice to see just how far HCI research into visual aesthetics has come in 15 short years! Tractinsky reminds us of the origin of the concept of aesthetics and gives a very nice summary of relevant research from the perspectives of design and psychology as well as looking at practical issues of designed devices. In addition, Tractinsky also shares his views on where to go from here, outlining several strands of potential future research. I agree with most of Tractinsky offers in his essay, so I decided to extend some of the proposed directions. Specifically, I discuss the importance of context, people’s expectations, and appropriateness with respect to visual aesthetics in an attempt to show that evaluation of aesthetics may occasionally be influenced by unrelated variables. The section following that discussion is a bold, tongue-in-cheek suggestion that it may be time for HCI researchers as well as product designers to consider the concepts of affect and cognition as an integrated whole, in addition to existing models and paradigms. I refer briefly to Barnard’s Interacting Cognitive Subsystems (ICS) framework to underscore that the idea is not new. I provide research findings challenging the claim that the mere exposure effect is based entirely on affect. In the third section, I highlight some issues with one of Lavie and Tractinsky’s (2004) aesthetics scales, the ‘classical aesthetics’ scale. Finally, I offer a conclusion.

19.6.2 The importance of context, expectations, and appropriateness of visual aesthetics

My thesis in this section is that context matters, even when we are interacting through a computer screen (Bødker, 1990), and even when our focus is on visual aesthetics. Computer games aiming to entertain and keep users engaged need vibrant colors, action-oriented settings, creative challenges and nifty surprises. Yet all of these attributes would be highly inappropriate for interactive technology designed, for example, to support the management of large-scale terrorist attacks involving mass casualties. Along similar lines, Web sites designed to facilitate the management of one’s bank accounts should use graphics and color sparingly so as to look ‘formal’ and thus appear ‘professional’ (Lindgaard, Dudek & Fraser, 2012) and trustworthy (Kim & Moon, 1998). People don’t go to the bank to be entertained or to hang out for extended periods of time. Yet, when looking for a gift for a special friend, the very same people who want banks to look formal expect lots of color and plenty of pictures displaying nicely presented products, perhaps even some playful animations. They enjoy spending time browsing an online gift shop that meets those expectations.

Over time, as experience with a particular website genre accumulates, our expectations of the look and contents of that genre develop into increasingly refined mental models (Johnson-Laird, 1983) or schemata (Bartlett, 1932), sometimes also referred to as look-up tables. These internal representations function as cognitive shortcuts by enabling us very quickly to determine how well a given exemplar of that genre meets our expectations. We tend to prefer the familiar, prototypical exemplars (Martindale, 1984; Winkielman, et al., 2006), mainly because they facilitate recognition and therefore demand a minimum of cognitive processing (Whitfield, 2000). To the extent that a particular website meets our expectation, we are likely to perceive it as an appropriate representative of its genre. To the extent that our expectations are not met, however, the site is likely to be deemed inappropriate even if it is well designed, very usable, and visually very appealing. In one of our recent experiments, we primed participants to expect to judge the visual appeal and appropriateness of a set of online banking sites or online gift shops even though they were all shown examples of both genres. The findings revealed that participants assigned to the gift shop condition rated visual appeal significantly higher than participants assigned to the banking condition (Lindgaard et al., 2012), and they were also significantly less tolerant of incongruent stimuli (Whittlesea & Williams, 2001). Mental models guiding expectations would thus seem to underlie the concept of appropriateness which, in turn, was shown to be capable of affecting perceptions of visual appeal. Although some HCI researchers have begun to investigate variables that may mediate perceptions and guide judgments of other variables (e.g. de Angeli et al., 2006; Moshagen & Thielsch, 2010; Hassenzahl & Monk, 2010; van Schaik & Ling, 2011), this research is in its infancy.

An interactive aesthetic experience is supposed to make us feel happy (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990), but as HCI researchers and designers we also need to understand what visual aesthetics means and what aesthetic experiences entail in a variety of situations. To date, nearly all visual-aesthetics related HCI research, including our own, has involved consumer goods or web sites. That is, research has focused on situations in which users decide themselves which products to buy and which websites to visit. Yet, it is equally relevant to consider aesthetics in the context of work where the choice of, and interaction with, technology is typically mandatory. In his research, Martindale (1990) found that meaningfulness was the most important predictor of preference. Meaningfulness may, however, on occasion lead to rejection of very appealing designs that, to the untrained eye, would be considered visually aesthetic and hence important for human well-being. For example, the images in Figure 1 below are borrowed from a high-pressure petro-chemical plant-management system. The plant produces many types of plastic from purified, highly compressed gas injected under high pressure into reactor vessels operating at 200°+ C. The gas is mixed with chemical catalysts in a process that eventually outputs tiny plastic pellets forming the raw material for other products. Each of the four systems in the factory was represented by the very pretty, realistic 3-D graphical representation and by a different background screen color as shown in Figure 1. All four systems were accessible from the computer terminals, and the various parts of each system were directly accessible from those colorful front pages by clicking on the relevant component.

Figure 19.1 A-B: Screens representing two different systems in a high-pressure petro-chemical factory. The first image has 5 pumps and 4 secondary compressors; the second image has 4 pumps and 2 secondary compressors (all with red borders)

Observations over several months of the highly experienced teams running the factory, however, showed that they did not use those screens to access the finer details of the systems. They noted only the number of pumps or the number of secondary compressors to ensure they were entering the intended system. When asked about the purpose of the different background colors, they maintained they ‘hadn’t noticed’, and that to them, the background colors ‘all looked pretty much the same’. To inspect components of a system, they used menus that relied on the terminology to which they were accustomed, or they reverted to the prototypical monochrome system diagram shown in Figure 2. The impressive graphic design efforts were, in other words, perceived to be unnecessary, indeed inappropriate, for that safety-critical environment.

The paper diagram to which the experts reverted
Figure 19.2: The paper diagram to which the experts reverted

The above example highlights an important “(dis)connect” between designers and users, as Tractinsky so aptly puts it. Yet, in order visually to please a particular audience, images need not be ‘pretty’ in the conventional sense of everyone agreeing that they are ‘good looking’. Images that may look very busy, even cluttered and thus not aesthetically pleasing to a lay audience, may be very pleasing and satisfying to work with for the target audience. The image in Figure 3 shows a screen that enables epidemiologists and infection control personnel effectively to monitor infectious disease outbreaks by tracing the people with whom affected patients may have been in contact since their exposure to the disease. This capability can thus also help to predict how the disease will spread unless preventative measures are taken such as isolating whole hospitals, even cities, in a timely fashion. To people whose work does not involve such issues, the screen may seem too bland and too busy; the target audience nevertheless finds it both visually appealing and useful.

An epidemiologist's view of a screen allowing access to certain details about affected patients
Figure 19.3: An epidemiologist's view of a screen allowing access to certain details about affected patients

Both the above examples draw attention to the need to understand the meaning of visual aesthetics, its value to target users beyond the first impression, and the role it plays in different contexts. The issue is clearly more complex than merely deciding whether to impute or ignore visual aesthetics in the design of interactive technology as some researchers have speculated (Norman, 2004). To disentangle the roles of expectations and appropriateness in connection with visual aesthetics, we need longitudinal studies of ongoing interactive technology usage with self-chosen consumer products (Karapanos et al., 2009) as well as with mandatory systems in work places, targeting experts as well as new users.

19.6.3 Cognitive and affective processes

Hundreds of studies have confirmed the so-called mere exposure effect attributed to the work of Zajonc (1980; Bornstein 1989; 1992). It is found in experiments using a very brief stimulus exposure time, between one and 50 ms (Bornstein, 1989; 1992) in a variety of contexts including web pages (Lindgaard et al., 2006; 2011). The accumulated evidence suggests that it is based on affect and that it occurs in the absence of cognitive processes (Zajonc, 1980; 2001). According to Zajonc, “careful experiments have ruled out explanations of this phenomenon based on ease of recognition, and increased perceptual fluency, or subjective familiarity” (2001, p. 225). Zajonc further argues that, “if cognitive processes are not involved in a behavior... affective influences, which are necessarily less diverse than cognitive influences, will dominate the behavior, yielding a more homogeneous array of reactions” (2001, p. 227). Using a novel light-emitting diode (LED) tachistoscope, very recent research, however, has demonstrated that people are capable of recognizing and verbally identifying pictures of animals presented randomly for 1 or 10ms with mean levels of accuracy reaching approximately 90% (Thurgood et al., 2011). In one condition, the animal pictures were presented against a plain white background; in the other, they were shown in their natural environments. There was no difference in the number of animals correctly identified at 1 and 10ms exposure times in the plain condition, but more animals were correctly identified at 10 ms than at 1 ms exposure time in the natural-settings condition. The paradigm did not involve backward masking, the purpose of which is to cancel further processing of the target stimulus after its offset (Breitemeier & Ogmen, 2000; Verleger et al., 2004).

The proposed explanatory models of masking assume that the mask overrides the stimulus in the visual sensory buffer, replacing it with a representation of the mask. Rieger and his colleagues (2005) provided empirical support for this in a study in which they integrated psychophysical and physiological data and employed conditions with and without a mask. Using stimuli comprising complex images of natural scenes, their results showed that viewers had access to the stimulus beyond the target exposure time. Therefore, when no mask is used, it would appear that the iconic trace of the target stimulus remains in the visual buffer where it decays approximately one second after the stimulus offset (Averbach & Sperling, 1961; Kovacs et al. 1995; Sperling, 1960).

Due to the absence of masking, it is highly likely that Thurgood et al.’s (2011) results were affected, at least to some degree, by prolonged processing of the stimuli. However, contrary to previous findings involving the mere exposure effect, some cognition evidently did take place. As participants’ responses were recorded manually, response times could unfortunately not be measured. Yet, Thurgood et al.’s research strongly suggests that we need to revisit our definitions of affect and cognition. If the two are as closely intertwined as these researchers’ findings suggest, one may even speculate that the time has come to wean ourselves from the Cartesian dualism that has served science very well for several Centuries, but that demands us strictly to separate feeling from thinking. I believe it is time for us to start thinking about a more holistic view of human information processing that includes affect as well as cognition. Interestingly, Barnard’s (1985) theoretical framework of Interacting Cognitive Subsystems (ICS) allows such smooth integration of affective and cognitive information (Barnard & Teasdale, 1991) that I have in mind. The central ICS concept is that different types of information are received, stored and processed by a set of nine functionally independent sub-systems whose function is to process sensory information, interpret it and prepare the organism to respond to events external to it (Humphrey, 1992). Because ICS is a framework rather than a theory, it makes no specific predictions about the exact representations used (Scott et al., 2001). ‘Knowledge’ is regarded as the consequence of several sub-systems functioning in a chain, whereby one passes the information to the next or to the outside world. A more complete explanation of ICS is given in Lindgaard and Whitfield (2004). I wholeheartedly agree with Tractinsky when he says that “the challenge is to identify and examine how various factors serve to alter or moderate the aesthetic process”.

19.6.4 Measurements of visual aesthetics

Appraisals of visual aesthetics are typically obtained via rating scales (Hassenzahl, 2004; Lavie & Tractinsky, 2004; Moshagen & Thielsch, 2010, concurrent or retrospective verbal protocols (Ericsson & Simon, 1993; Taylor & Dionne, 2000), and/or psychophysiological measures (Jacobsen & Höfel, 2007a; 2007b; Tuch et al., 2009). Studies relying on rating scales feature most prominently in the HCI literature, and several of these have been found to correlate well with one another (see e.g. van Schaik & Ling, 2011; Moshagen & Thielsch, 2010), suggesting that they are tapping into the same concept. In his chapter, Tractinsky draws attention to the problematic issue of competing concepts that are not mutually exclusive, and which therefore causes confusion among researchers, students, and evaluators alike. The confusion concerns a conceptual overlap between Lavie and Tractinsky’s (2004) ‘classical’ aesthetics scale and traditional usability.

Taking first a step back from visual aesthetics, ‘Good design principles’ have existed in the HCI literature since the 1980s (e.g. Smith & Mosier, 1985; Galitz, 1987; Ravden & Johnson, 1989), but most have their roots in human perception as discussed by the early gestalt psychologists (Koffka, 1915, cited in Köhler, 1967). Good design includes the so-called ‘CRAP’ Principles (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity). Good contrast makes it easy for the eyes to distinguish between foreground and background. For example, the highly simplified white stick people in Figure 4 below stand out perfectly against the black background. Repetition refers to the use of a consistent visual system. For example, the same-size icons in Figure 4 denoting different kinds of sports all rely on a very simple visual language displaying drawings of one or two people shown in a frontal or a side view. The principle of alignment dictating a minimum number of alignment points is captured nicely in Tractinsky’s Figure 19.3 of the two screens borrowed from Parush’s (1998) study showing one very orderly screen that adheres to the alignment principle, and one very disorderly screen that does not. Likewise, proximity is also captured in the orderly screen in which items that belong together conceptually are placed together physically, with each group framed, and given a title that clearly distinguishes one the others. That is not the case in the disorderly screen in which individual items are more or less randomly placed.

The principle of repetition via simplified drawings of people acting out a particular sport
Figure 19.4: The principle of repetition via simplified drawings of people acting out a particular sport

These four basic design principles are largely adhered to in interactive computing systems regardless of whether an application is intended for serious or for more playful purposes, unless it specifically aims to confuse or surprise users, for example, in an interactive treasure hunt. The principles are also captured in four of the five the items in Lavie and Tractinsky’s (2004) classical aesthetics scale. Thus, a pleasant, clear, and clean user interface design is well organized and orderly, much like Parush et al.’s (1098) good example. The role of symmetry, although recommended by some researchers (Sutcliffe, 2001; Bauerly & Liu, 2006), is a little unclear. For example, none of the icons in Figure 4 are horizontally or vertically symmetrical, but they are clear and clean, and they do reflect harmony. The final item in the classical aesthetics scale is ‘aesthetics’, which is somewhat curious in a scale intended to measure that very concept. In addition to being pleasant to look at, an orderly user interface design would also be easy to use and navigate. Those items, together with another item called ‘clear design’ feature in the additional scale intended to measure ‘usability’.

It should be appreciated that Lavie and Tractinsky’s two aesthetics scales were published nearly a decade ago and that they, together with Hassenzahl’s (2004) scales, marked the first serious attempt in the HCI community to measure aesthetics such that concerns for visual aesthetics could be readily distinguished from traditional performance-based usability. The aesthetics-related scales have provided an excellent start allowing HCI researchers to delve more deeply into these complex concepts; they have served us well since their publication and have contributed to much fruitful research. Our next step now should be to conduct research aiming to resolve the unfortunate confusion about the conceptual overlaps between aesthetics, especially classical aesthetics, and usability.

19.6.5 Conclusion

Research into visual aesthetics has grown to become a very exciting, complex, and hence very challenging field in HCI. So many doors have been opened, many more topics are yet to be explored, and we have barely begun to identify some of the relevant concepts, let alone stray down some of those blind alleys that every new field of research inevitably will encounter. Thank you Noam, for reminding us of some of those directions we need to take, and thank you for summarizing the relevant literature for us.

19.6.6 References

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Lindgaard, Gitte (1994): Usability Testing and System Evaluation: A Guide for Designing Useful Computing Systems, Chapman and Hall,

Howard, Steve, Hammond, Judy, Lindgaard, Gitte (eds.) Human-Computer Interaction, INTERACT 97, IFIP TC13 Interantional Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 14th-18th July 1997, Sydney, Australia , 1997, .

Lindgaard, Gitte (1994): Usability Testing and System Evaluation: A Guide for Designing Useful Computing Systems, Chapman and Hall,

Howard, Steve, Hammond, Judith H., Lindgaard, Gitte (eds.) Proceedings of INTERACT 97 - IFIP TC13 Sixth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction July 14-18, 1997, Sydney, Australia.

Lindgaard, Gitte (1994): Usability Testing and System Evaluation: A Guide for Designing Useful Computing Systems, Chapman and Hall,