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What do HCI experts think of aesthetics in existing interfaces?

If the artists aren't thinking about it yet,[4] Who is? In the literature of graphical user interface design, Opinions on good-looking GUI's ranged from enthusiasm to resigned acceptance. Bruce Tognazzini, living up to his job title of `User Interface Evangelist,' tackles the aesthetic design of interfaces with the attitude that ``We, as designers, are not simply assembling dialoguing systems, we are building worlds, carefully crafted virtual realities, in which users will live and work.''[16] A user would probably enjoy working all day `in' an interface designed with such a sense of responsibility and enthusiasm--especially compared to working in an environment constructed from the following point-of-view, in which the author sounds like he is stubbornly giving in to the concept of an aesthetically pleasing interface: ``Now the technologies of computer display systems have improved, and the user population has expanded to such an extent that it is now advisable to include `attractiveness' as a tool for improving usage of information systems.'' [18] Perhaps this point of view stems from the ancient feud between programmers and artists.


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sean dreilinger

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