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14 February 2008 Aesthetics versus utility in electronic imaging
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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.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Floris L. van Nes "Aesthetics versus utility in electronic imaging", Proc. SPIE 6806, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII, 68060Y (14 February 2008);


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