Quantifying Visual Preferences Around the World

Katharina Reinecke and Krzysztof Z. Gajos



Website aesthetics have been recognized as an influential moderator of people's behavior and perception. However, what users perceive as ``good design'' is subject to individual preferences, questioning the feasibility of universal design guidelines. To better understand how people's visual preferences differ, we collected 2.4 million ratings of the visual appeal of websites from nearly 40 thousand participants of diverse backgrounds. We address several gaps in the knowledge about design preferences of previously understudied groups. Among other findings, our results show that the level of colorfulness and visual complexity at which visual appeal is highest strongly varies: Females, for example, liked colorful websites more than males. A high education level generally lowers this preference for colorfulness. Russians preferred a lower visual complexity, and Macedonians liked highly colorful designs more than any other country in our dataset. We contribute a computational model and estimates of peak appeal that can be used to support rapid evaluations of website design prototypes for specific target groups.

Available Versions

Citation Information

Katharina Reinecke and Krzysztof Z. Gajos. Quantifying visual preferences around the world. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '14, pages 11-20, New York, NY, USA, 2014. ACM.