This paper argues that an increasingly important dimension of the human-computer interaction is missing from the MIS and the HCI research agenda. This dimension—esthetics—plays a major role in our private, social, and business lives. It is argued that aesthetics is relevant to information technology research and practice for three theoretical reasons. (1) For many users, other aspects of the interaction hardly matter anymore. (2) Our evaluations of the environment are primarily visual, and the environment becomes increasingly replete with information technology. (3) Aesthetics satisfies basic human needs, and human needs are increasingly supplied by information technology. Aesthetics matters for a practical reason as well: it is here to stay. We propose a general framework for the study of aesthetics in information technology and provide some examples of research questions to illustrate the viability of this topic.
Tractinsky, Noam, "Toward the Study of Aesthetics in Information Technology" (2004). ICIS 2004 Proceedings. 62.