The Formulation and Visualization of 3D Avatar Design, Including Three Basic Theoretical Elements: Aesthetic, User Experience and Psychology

  • Thomas Photiadis
  • Panayiotis Zaphiris
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8510)


This paper presents a different, until now, perspective of aesthetic experience during the process of designing 3D avatars, formulating and visualizing the combination of user-experience and psychology. The present research aims to define 3D aesthetic experience and the relation of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) through a theoretical model delivering new insights on the process of 3D avatars’ design.

There is limited research about the procedure and the influences (emotions, mood and external factors) during the process of users designing their three-dimensional (3D) depictions otherwise known as avatars. The provided theoretical model is a combination of the three subjective factors (aesthetics, psychology and user experience) which are interrelated, and are present during such design procedures. The common element that connects all of these areas is Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

In each area of interest, on its own, there is relevant and sufficient research. But, to a large extent their common relation to 3D environments has not been explored yet. It is the objective of this paper to explore the aesthetic experience from the designer view, in other words, is defined the 3D aesthetic experience of the user but from the side of the designer.

An additional reason of the formulation and the focus on 3D visualization is to simplify the procedure of 3D avatar design while simultaneously embracing the influence of aesthetics, user experience and psychology; which are provided via an overview of existing research, concentrating on the procedure for 3D avatar design.


Human Computer Interaction Aesthetics User Experience Avatars Psychology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Altheide, D.L.: Identity and the Definition of the Situation in a MassMediated Context. Symbolic Interaction 23(1), 1–27 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    American Heritage Dictionary of the English LanguageGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bell, M.W.: Virtual Worlds Research: Past, Present & Future (July 2008)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blascovich, J.: Social influence within immersive virtual environments. In: The Social Life of Avatars, pp. 127–145 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boberg, M., Piippo, P., Ollila, E.: Designing avatars. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment and Arts, pp. 232–239. ACM (September 2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Buxton, B.: Sketching User Experiences: getting the design rights and right design. Bedford, Massachusetts (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cash, T.F.: Body image: Past, present, and future. Body Image 1(1) (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Castronova, E.: Theory of the Avatar (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cawthon, N., Moere, A.V.: A conceptual model for evaluating aesthetic effect within the user experience of information visualization. In: Tenth International Conference on Information Visualization, IV 2006, pp. 374–382. IEEE (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Danzico, L.: Making face: practices and interpretations of avatars in everyday media. Interactions 17(3), 11–14 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ducheneaut, N., Wen, M.H., Yee, N., Wadley, G.: Body and mind: a study of avatar personalization in three virtual worlds. In: Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1151–1160. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Filonik, D., Baur, D.: Measuring aesthetics for information visualization. In: 2009 13th International Conference on Information Visualisation, pp. 579–584. IEEE (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Forlizzi, J., Battarbee, K.: Understanding experience in interactive systems. In: Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques, pp. 261–268. ACM (2004)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Forrester, M.: Psychology of the Image. Routledge (2000)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fox, K.R.: The physical self: From motivation to well-being. Human Kinetics (1997)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hassenzahl, M.: User Experience and Experience Design. In: Soegaard, M., Dam, R.F. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd edn., The Interaction Design Foundation, Aarhus (2013), Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hassenzahl, M., Tractinsky, N.: User experience-a research agenda. Behaviour & Information Technology 25(2), 91–97 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hjelle, L., Ziegler, D.: The phenomenological perspective in personality theory: Carl Rogers, ch. 11, New York (1976)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hoffmann, R., Krauss, K.: A critical evaluation of literature on visual aesthetics for the web. In: Proceedings of the 2004 Annual Research Conference of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists on IT Research in Developing Countries, pp. 205–209, South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (2004)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Huxley, A., Bradshaw, D.: The art of seeing. Harper (1942)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Huxley: The Art of seeing. In: Chatto & Windus, London, pp. 1–79 (1974)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jacob Nielsen, D.W.: Usability. The Practice of Simplicity (2000)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jacobsen, T., Schubotz, R.I., Höfel, L., Cramon, D.Y.V.: Brain correlates of aesthetic judgment of beauty. Neuroimage 29(1), 276–285 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jordan, P.W.: Human factors for pleasure in product use. Applied Ergonomics 29(1), 25–33 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Karvonen, K.: The beauty of simplicity. In: Proceedings on the 2000 Conference on Universal Usability, pp. 85–90. ACM (2000)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Koskinen, I., Kurvinen, E., Lehtonen, T.K., Kaski, J., Keinänen, N., Absetz, K.: Mobile image. Edita, IT Press (2002)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Law, E.L.C., Roto, V., Hassenzahl, M., Vermeeren, A.P., Kort, J.: Understanding, scoping and defining user experience: a survey approach. In: Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 719–728. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Leder, H., Belke, B., Oeberst, A., Augustin, D.: A model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments. British Journal of Psychology 95(4), 489–508 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Markus, H., Nurius, P.: Possible selves. American Psychologist 41(9), 954–969 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Martin, J.: Virtually visual: the effects of visual technologies on online identification. In: Anais do DiGRA 2005 Conference: University of British Columbia (2005)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mbipom, G., Harper, S.: Visual Aesthetics and Accessibility. HCW—EIVAA Technical Report 2, 1–48 (2009)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mc Dough, J.P.: Designer Selves: Construction of Technologically Mediated Identity within Graphical Multi user Environments. University of California (1999)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Norman, D.A.: Introduction to this special section on beauty, goodness, and usability. Human–Computer Interaction 19(4), 311–318 (2004), Merriam – Websters Collegiate dictionaryGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Postrel, V.: The substance of style: How the rise of aesthetic value is remaking commerce, and consciousness. Harper Perennial (2004)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Raja, R., Bowman, A., Lucas, J., North, C.: Exploring the Benefits of Immersion in Abstract Information Visualization, Department of Computer Science, pp. 1–7 (2004)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Santayana, G.: What is Aesthetics? The Philosophical Review, 13(3), 320–327 (1904)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Schultze, U., Leahy, M.M.: The avatar-self relationship: Enacting presence in second life. In: Internat. Conf. Inform. Systems, Association of Information Systems, Phoenix, AZ (2009)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Stone, G.P.: Appearance and the self: A slightly revised version. In: Life as Theater: A Dramaturgical Sourcebook, pp. 141–162 (1990)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Theuma: Evaluating the Aesthetics of Websites, Using materials analysis and visual design heuristics. University College London, pp.1–43 (2007)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tractinsky, N.: Toward the study of aesthetics in information technology. In: 25th Annual International Conference on Information Systems, Washington, DC, pp. 771–780 (2004)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Tractinsky, N.: Visual Aesthetics. In: Soegaard, M., Dam, R.F. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd edn. The Interaction Design Foundation, Aarhus (2013), Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Tractinsky, N.: Aesthetics and apparent usability: empirically assessing cultural and methodological issues. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 115–122. ACM (1997)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Tractinsky, N., Hassenzahl, M.: Arguing for aesthetics in human-computer interaction. I-com 4(3/2005), 66–68 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Udsen, L.E., Jørgensen, A.H.: The aesthetic turn: unravelling recent aesthetic approaches to human-computer interaction. Digital Creativity 16(04), 205–216 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Vasalou, A., Joinson, A.N., Pitt, J.: Constructing my online self: avatars that increase self-focused attention. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 445–448. ACM (2007)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Vasalou, A., Joinson, A.N.: Me, myself and I: The role of interactional context on self-presentation through avatars. Computers in Human Behavior 25(2), 510–520 (2009); Taylor, T.L.: Living digitally: Embodiment in virtual worlds. In: The Social Life of Avatars: Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments, pp. 40–62 (2002)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Wallace, P., Maryott, J.: The impact of avatar self-representation on collaboration in virtual worlds. Innovate: Journal of Online Education 5(5) (2009)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ware, L.: Worlds remade: inclusion through engagement with disability art. International Journal of Inclusive Education 12(5-6), 563–583 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Photiadis
    • 1
  • Panayiotis Zaphiris
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Cyprus Interaction LabCyprus University of TechnologyCyprus

Personalised recommendations