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An Empirical Investigation of Color Temperature and Gender Effects on Web Aesthetics

Constantinos K. Coursaris, Sarah J. Sweirenga, and Ethan Watrall

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2008, pp. 103-117

Abstract

Limited research exists on the relevance of hedonic dimensions of human-computer interaction to usability, with only a small set of this research being empirical in nature. Furthermore, previous research has obtained mixed support for gender differences regarding perceptions of attractiveness and usability in Web site design. This empirical research addresses the above gap by studying the effects of color temperature and gender on perceptions of Web site aesthetics. A 2 x 2 between-subject research design manipulates the temperature of a Web site's primary and secondary colors. Each color pair consists of adjacent hues and is categorized as either warm or cool.

Findings include significantly more favorable perceptions regarding a Web site design's aesthetics when cool color combinations (blue-light blue), as opposed to warm color combinations (red-orange), are used; direct effects of classical aesthetic dimensions (e.g., cleanliness) on expressive aesthetics items (e.g., creativity); and no effects of gender on either set of aesthetics.

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An Empirical Investigation of Color Temperature and Gender Effects on Web Aesthetics

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