Investigating Objective Measures of Web Page Aesthetics and Usability

Purchase, H. C., Hamer, J., Jamieson, A., Ryan, O.

    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.
Cite as: Purchase, H. C., Hamer, J., Jamieson, A., Ryan, O. (2011). Investigating Objective Measures of Web Page Aesthetics and Usability. In Proc. Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC 2011) Perth, Australia. CRPIT, 117. Christof Lutteroth and Haifeng Shen Eds., ACS. 19-28
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