A Mathematical Theory of Interface Aesthetics

David Chek Ling Ngo, Lian Seng Teo, John G. Byrne

An important aspect of screen design is aesthetic evaluation of screen layouts. While it is conceivable to define a set of variables that characterize the key attributes of many alphanumeric display formats, such a task seems difficult for graphic displays because of their much greater complexity. This article proposes a theoretical approach to capture the essence of artists' insights with fourteen aesthetic measures for graphic displays. The formalized measures include balance, equilibrium, symmetry, sequence, cohesion, unity, proportion, simplicity, density, regularity, economy, homogeneity, rhythm, and order and complexity. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the direction which future research should take.