Aesthetics versus utility in electronic imaging

F.L. Nes, van

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII, January 28-31, 2008, San Jose, USA
EditorsB.E. Rogowitz, T.N. Pappas
Place of PublicationBellingham
ISBN (Print)9780819469786
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Eventconference; Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII; 2008-01-28; 2008-01-31 -
Duration: 28 Jan 200831 Jan 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


Conferenceconference; Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII; 2008-01-28; 2008-01-31
OtherHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII

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