The influence of expectations on usability and visual appeal in a web environment

Milica Stojmenovic, Robert Biddle, John Grundy, Vivienne Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The impact of verbal and textual influences that create expectations on the perceived and objective usability and visual appeal of a website was examined. A computer laboratory study, in the form of a user-based usability test, was done to determine the effect of textual and verbal expectations on visual appeal and usability. Results showed that the combination of textual and verbal expectations successfully influenced participants. When told that the website was going to be hard and ugly, participants were disinclined from using it, stating it was too hard to use, and struggled more when using it. Similarly, participants thought that the website was easier to use and prettier in the high expectations group than in the low expectations group. Results suggest that web developers and project managers should focus on investing in marketing and social media influencers as well as in the development of an attractive and usable website.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Expectations
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Usability
  • Visual appeal

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