Aesthetics versus Usability: What Drives our Product Choices?

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Trathen, Stephen
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Canberra, Australia
Section: Teaching Design Education Methods
Page(s): 706-712
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


This research examined the influence of usability and aesthetic/emotive characteristics on prospective buyers’ preferences in pre-purchase product selection. Results indicate that while both characteristics are important, aesthetic/emotive factors are dominant and can counteract negative perceptions of usability-at least in regard to the products studied. This research contributes to our understanding of the relationship between a product’s usability and aesthetic factors, and how these are perceived by users at different stages of product selection. Both product design and design education could be improved through a better understanding of users’ interactions with products. How users perceive and respond to products, how their responses change over time and with varying levels of contact with the product, and ultimately how user satisfaction emerges from these processes is integral to such improvements.

Keywords: User behaviour, product design


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.