20 October 2008

Hassenzahl on UX, pleasure and beauty

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Marc Hassenzahl
Marc Hassenzahl is Junior Professor for Economic Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Koblenz-Landau. He is also a freelance usability consultant, president of the German Chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Association, and the author of over 30 journal papers / book chapters.

Two recent ones caught my attention:

User Experience (UX): Towards an experiential perspective on product quality
This paper presented my personal view on UX and related phenomena and research. Instead of providing a one-size-fits-all-definition of UX, I emphasize its subjectivity, present-orientedness and dynamics, and the central role of pleasure and pain. In addition, I provided an approach to explain, where the pleasure and pain comes from, namely from the fulfilment of basic human needs.

Aesthetics in interactive products: Correlates and consequences of beauty
The present chapter focuses on the judgmental approach to the study of aesthetics/beauty. It starts with an attempt to define beauty in a way, which lends itself to its empirical/quantitative study in the context of HCI. This is followed by a review of research addressing correlates of beauty, primarily focusing on the relation between beauty and usability. After this, three consequences of beauty are considered in detail, namely beauty as added value, beauty as a way to accomplish self-referential goals and, finally, beauty as a way to work better. The chapter ends with a summary and conclusion.

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