Assessing dimensions of perceived visual aesthetics of web sites

Talia Lavie, Noam Tractinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

897 Scopus citations


Despite its centrality to human thought and practice, aesthetics has for the most part played a petty role in human-computer interaction research. Increasingly, however, researchers attempt to strike a balance between the traditional concerns of human-computer interaction and considerations of aesthetics. Thus, recent research suggests that the visual aesthetics of computer interfaces is a strong determinant of users' satisfaction and pleasure. However, the lack of appropriate concepts and measures of aesthetics may severely constraint future research in this area. To address this issue, we conducted four studies in order to develop a measurement instrument of perceived web site aesthetics. Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses we found that users' perceptions consists of two main dimensions, which we termed "classical aesthetics" and "expressive aesthetics". The classical aesthetics dimension pertains to aesthetic notions that presided from antiquity until the 18th century. These notions emphasize orderly and clear design and are closely related to many of the design rules advocated by usability experts. The expressive aesthetics dimension is manifested by the designers' creativity and originality and by the ability to break design conventions. While both dimensions of perceived aesthetic are drawn from a pool of aesthetic judgments, they are clearly distinguishable from each other. Each of the aesthetic dimensions is measured by a five-item scale. The reliabilities, factor structure and validity tests indicate that these items reflect the two perceived aesthetics dimensions adequately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-298
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Software
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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