Michael Burmester, Axel Platz, Udo Rudolph & Brigitte Wild Siemens AG Corporate Technology User Interface Design, D-81730 Munich firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
LMU Munich Institute for Psychology D-80802 Munich firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Recently, the main focus of industrial HCI research was on improving user interfaces so that users can accomplish their tasks in an effective and efficient way in order to reduce their mental workload and to make them feel satisfied by improving product usability (ISO 9241-11, 1997). Logan ( 1994) divided usability into two components -- behavioral and emotional usability. Emotional usability "refers to the degree to which a product is desirable or serves a need(s) beyond the traditional functional objective" (p. 61). User interfaces should be engaging, foster a sense of discovery and eliminating fear.
These demanded user interface qualities are also related to the concept of an 'event-society' (e.g. Weinberg, 1992). Human decisions and preferences are not purely rational, but rather heavily influenced by emotional contents ( Koppelmann, 1997). Although today mostly consumer products are connected with such an emotional component this is getting more and more important for capital goods.
There has been little research concerning aesthetic design and emotionally appealing user interface design. Leventhal et al. ( 1996) compared different dialogue boxes and there preferences among different user groups. Kurosu & Kashimura ( 1995) and Tractinsky ( 1997) investigated the relationship between users' perceptions of interface aesthetics and usability. Others like Reeves & Nass ( 1996) looked for anthropomorphism aspects of user interfaces and their influence on the behavior of persons.