] Papachristos, E., & Avouris, N. (2013). The Influence of Website Category on Aesthetic Preferences. In Human-Computer Interaction–INTERACT 2013 (pp. 445-496). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. (authors' pdf
This paper investigates whether users’ aesthetic impressions about websites vary considerably across different domains. The assumption that aesthetic judgments about websites that belong to diverse domains are based on different visual design aspects has been investigated in three distinct studies in healthcare, tourism, and web design business. In these studies participants expressed their overall preference as well as their judgments on the constructs of visual appeal, perceived usability and novelty. In addition, descriptions about the test websites were obtained by expert panel and objective measures. Preference Mapping (PM), which is a data summarization and visualization technique, has been performed in each study. Attribute projection into the preference maps allowed for the identification of important driver of preference for each individual domain. Even though, visual appeal was the most important predictor of overall preference in all studies, appealing websites had different visual characteristics in each domain. Furthermore the importance of the evaluation constructs varied considerably among studies, indicating that aesthetic perceptions differed considerably across domains. These findings emphasize the need for flexible evaluation methods that can be used to identify important visual design factors within a specific website domain.