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Proceedings Paper

Aesthetics versus utility in electronic imaging
Author(s): Floris L. van Nes
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Paper Abstract

It is often believed that modern viewers of visually presented information need to be pleased or kept concentrated by feeding them several types of input simultaneously: the primary information and, moreover, what are regarded as embellishments such as figuratively structured instead of plain uniform background of folders and slides in presentations. However, there are many cases whereby the utility or efficiency of transmission of presented information and aesthetical aspects inherent to this presentation are opposed. Examples for static images are: color combinations of foreground and background in text and figures such as graphs that impede legibility; the use of low-contrast secondary information in the form of figures or text in the same plane as the intended primary information; and gloss, causing specular reflection and sometimes glare, applied to bezels of visual displays or to the face of the display itself. Aesthetically intended aspects of dynamic images, such as flashing parts, may even cause health hazards, for example photosensitive seizures. Being aware of the possible opposition of utility and attractiveness means that a sensible choice can be made for the relative strengths of the information-bearing and the aesthetic factors - including a 'strength zero' of the latter, if need be.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 February 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6806, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII, 68060Y (14 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.764857
Show Author Affiliations
Floris L. van Nes, ErgoNes (Netherlands)
Technische Univ. Eindhoven (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6806:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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