Saima Suri


Master of Science in Computer Science


Department of Computer Science

Faculty / School

Faculty of Computer Sciences (FCS)

Date of Submission



Syed Asim Ali, Visiting Faculty, Department of Computer Science

Document type

MSCS Survey Report


With digital technology becoming a part of our everyday lives, from being an essential tool at the work place to its penetration into our homes, changing the way we communicate and conduct our routine activities to the point where it has become a part of our environment and has influenced our culture, much though and research has gone into the designing of these digital artifacts; focusing on the usability of these objects to make them easier to use, to make them intuitive to use, to make the user enjoy interacting with these objects and at the same time enabling users to perform the desired action or to complete a task efficiently (Bertelsen, Petersen, and Pold 2004, Udsen and Jørgensen 2005). All of these aspects come under the umbrella of usability (Udsen and Jørgensen 2005, Norman 2005, Shneiderman 2003), previously the study of usability consisted of research that only looked at the functional aspects of the digital technology but since technology has become a part of our everyday life, other aspects of interaction design are also being studied, one of these aspects is aesthetics. The main aim of the paper is to provide an up-to-date, well researched resource of past and current references to aesthetics in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) related literature. The paper presents a comprehensive concept-centric literature review of aesthetics in HCI studies, from 1995 onwards. According to a designed methodology more than 70 scientific publications have been studied and classified according to their aim and content into the following categories; (i) History of the word aesthetics, (ii) Aesthetic approaches in HCI, (iii) Aesthetics and usability, and (iv) Aesthetics and performance. Although aesthetics has been recognized as an important aspect of HCI, there is still conflicting research on the extent to which the aesthetics of a system influences its usability and performance. This paper looks at the different interpretations of aesthetics and based on the literature review gives an analysis of the impact of aesthetics, on the usability and the performance for a given digital system.

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