Evaluating the consistency of immediate aesthetic perceptions of web pages

Noam Tractinsky, Avivit Cokhavi, Moti Kirschenbaum, Tal Sharfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Scopus citations


Two experiments were designed to replicate and extend [Lindgaard et al.'s, 2006. Attention web designers: you have 50 ms to make a good first impression! Behaviour and Information Technology 25(2), 115-126] findings that users can form immediate aesthetic impression of web pages, and that these impressions are highly stable. Using explicit (subjective evaluations) and implicit (response latency) measures, the experiments demonstrated that, averaged over users, immediate aesthetic impressions of web pages are remarkably consistent. In Experiment 1, 40 participants evaluated 50 web pages in two phases. The average attractiveness ratings of web pages after a very short exposure of 500 ms were highly correlated with average attractiveness ratings after an exposure of 10 s. Extreme attractiveness evaluations (both positive and negative) were faster than moderate evaluations, landing convergent evidence to the hypothesis of immediate impression. The findings also suggest considerable individual differences in evaluations and in the consistency of those evaluations. In Experiment 2, 24 of the 50 web pages from Experiment 1 were evaluated again for their attractiveness after 500 ms exposure. Subsequently, users evaluated the design of the web pages on the dimensions of classical and expressive aesthetics. The results showed high correlation between attractiveness ratings from Experiments 1 and 2. In addition, it appears that low attractiveness is associated mainly with very low ratings of expressive aesthetics. Overall, the results provide direct evidence in support of the premise that aesthetic impressions of web pages are formed quickly. Indirectly, these results also suggest that visual aesthetics plays an important role in users' evaluations of the IT artifact and in their attitudes toward interactive systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1083
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2006


  • Aesthetic perceptions
  • Attractiveness
  • Classical aesthetics
  • Expressive aesthetics
  • First impression
  • Response latency
  • Response time
  • Web-page design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • Engineering (all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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