Literature Review notes: Conflict of Aesthetic value and Usability

Two sources from my reading list were quite interesting to compare – with UI design, there seems to be a battle of function and aesthetics these two journals User Interface Design Principles
for Interaction Design (Adream Blair-Early)
 and Evaluating Interface Esthetics (David Ngo) seem to clash with each other.

The journal by Adream Blair-Early states that many designers make the mistake of creating ”flashy interfaces” that appeal visually but the usability quality suffers. Adream also states that if user-interfaces that are based on familiarity (therefore ”successful”) creativity will suffer; this paper gives the impression that creating ”flashy” visual elements will have a bad effect on usability. 

David Ngo also  states the fact that designers are warned about emphasizing on aesthetic values of the UI because of the reason mentioned above (usability) but in his journal he believes that aesthetics can aid usuability and acceptability much more. 

In his research he has found that visually / aesthetically pleasing designs and layout can have a ”definite” effect on the ability to learn. Another study he researched found that graphic design that looked good help the absorbtion of information.

In this paper David Ngo takes an indepth scientific look into elements of visual design, he undergoes an indepth look into layout mostly – and experiments with design values such as balance, rhythm, symmetry etc.

However Ardream looks into methods and stratedgies that are based on user profiles (librarian, instructor, speaker) and focuses more on function-theory such as designing ”obvious exits”, impact, cause and effect, user-feedback and doesn’t really touch on the subjets of the visual design/aesthetic.

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