Investigating objective measures of web page aesthetics and usability

Purchase, H.C. , Hamer, J., Jamieson, A. and Ryan, O. (2011) Investigating objective measures of web page aesthetics and usability. In: Australasian User Interface Conference, Perth, Australia, 17-20 January 2011, pp. 19-28. ISBN 9781920682972

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As part of the ongoing debate about the role of aesthetic design of interfaces, this paper presents an aesthetic evaluation tool which quantifies the layout characteristics of a web page according to fourteen different metrics. By using the rich medium of web pages as our input, we have significantly extended the prior work done in this area which has typically focussed on simple interfaces. We report the results of an experiment to determine whether users' judgements of 'aesthetic appeal' and 'perceived usability' match the numeric metric results. We found that aesthetic appeal (but not perceived usability) was captured by a metric that considered the placement of all objects on the screen, and that the placement of images is a strong predictor of both aesthetic appeal and perceived usability. We suggest practical implications of this work for web page designers.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hamer, Dr John and Purchase, Dr Helen
Authors: Purchase, H.C., Hamer, J., Jamieson, A., and Ryan, O.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science

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