Date: 19 Apr 2012

Considering the Aesthetics of Ubiquitous Displays

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We call attention to the important role that aesthetics, or visual beauty, can and should play in the deployment of ubiquitous displays. Following a short survey of the emergence of visual aesthetics in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI), we suggest that the importance of aesthetics stem from three main perspectives. The design perspective suggests that beauty is a cornerstone of any design discipline and that it is often positively related to other practices of good HCI design, such as usability. From a psychological perspective we argue that aesthetics induces pleasure and satisfies human needs; and that it is influential in how people form first impressions and subsequent attitudes. Finally, we argue that aesthetics has an important practical role as a differentiating factor between interactive products. Even more importantly, it is already woven into the socio-technical web of our time. We discuss the implications of this position for the design of ubiquitous displays.