Reading some stuff across the recent "Facets of the Visual Aesthetics" by Moshagen and Thielsch, 2010, I stumbled upon their quote «What is beautiful is usable» by Noam Tractinsky.
Uhm, it reminds me of Tony Wilson quoting in a "24 hours Party People" the rather famous «Nothing useless can ever truly be beautiful» by William Morris. William Morris, Aesthetic Movement, Arts and Crafts. It seems we are back to the old days of the psychology studies at the university, with Titchner's "sensations and affections", facing the old attempt to isolate and recreate the basics of the human experience through a verbally reported perception. Nothing to complain against the "think aloud", I am not sure about the validity of this filtered interaction, being this method a language surrogate supported by statistical tables from this sterilized cabinet approach. I see also complex items like "Craftmanship" in the document. Sounds coherent. What would be saying the good John Dewey about this attempt to create some tailor-made measurable items instead of talking about adaptive behaviors and strategies? What about items like
"Animations", or "Visual effects"?! Is this a chicken test? Or a bunny test? What about the users called to take part in this process? Their personal backgrounds? Their lifestyles?
The research source has been published by the reliable and respectable Elsevier, but my question remains: how much behind is the User Experience Design, compared to other disciplines?
After years of horrible terms like "usability" the IT has been progressively falling back from "use cases" to "personas". I remember recently an interview to Peter Morville and Lou Rosenfeld making amend after Donald Norman about good design and the once-neglected-and-now-reassessed usage of colors (another item in the above mentioned document). And, actually, they are invoking the blessing of some
ethnographical studies?! Interesting assessment. Much respect to Moshagen and Thielsch, I will stay tuned on such controlled enthusiasm and, for now, I will better get out, there's a marvelous Saturday night, out there somewhere
«Inconsistency is my very essence - says the wheel»