Visual aesthetic appeal speeds processing of complex but not simple icons

REPPA, Irene, PLAYFOOT, David and MCDOUGALL, Sine (2008). Visual aesthetic appeal speeds processing of complex but not simple icons. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society Annual Meeting, 52 (18), 1155-1159.

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Over the last decade there has been a shift in emphasis from interface usability to interface appeal. Very few studies, however, have examined the link between the two. The current study examined the possibility that aesthetic appeal may affect user performance. In a visual search task designed to mimic user searches of interface displays, participants were asked to search for a target icon in an array of distractors. Target icons were varied orthogonally along two dimensions, complexity (which is known to affect visual search for icons in displays) and aesthetic appeal. The results showed that visually simple icons were found faster than visually complex icons, replicating previous findings. More importantly, aesthetic appeal interacted with icon complexity, significantly reducing search times for complex but not simple icons. These findings provide empirical evidence to support the idea that aesthetic appeal can influence performance.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1155-1159
Depositing User: David Playfoot
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 09:14
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 09:45

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