Online affective experiences and their relationships to utilitarian and non-utilitarian outcomes are of growing interest. This study investigates one affective experience – aesthetics – and its impact on online utilitarian values. As the concept of web aesthetic experience has not been well studied or understood, this study proposes a novel theoretical model connecting web aesthetic experiences to online utilitarian values. Based on the prior literature from other disciplines, the study treats the aesthetic experience as a complex and multi-dimensional construct, which contains three distinct sub-dimensions: aesthetic appraisal, aesthetic judgment, and aesthetic emotion. The research process will include making the selection of diverse level of aesthetic websites and a cross-over design experiment. The structural equation modelling technique will be employed to evaluate the relationships between the web aesthetic experience and utilitarian outcome. The expected contributions of this study are: (i) to construct a novel theoretical model based on the psychological and philosophical concepts of aesthetic experience and utilitarian value; (ii) to identify the multi-dimensional evidence of web aesthetic experiences; (iii) to provide theoretical and practical knowledge for predicting the utilitarian outcomes through online users’ aesthetic experiences. The study also points to the need for more research in this complex area.


Aesthetic Experience, Aesthetic Appraisal, Aesthetic Judgment, Aesthetic Emotion, Utilitarian Outcomes, Website Design


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Research-in-progress paper