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Work model

Ease-of-use, i. e. an optimal operability, is a must for interactive products. Increasingly, products stand out for their user experience. These days, it is necessary to apply an evaluation method that records both the perceived pragmatic quality, the hedonic quality and the attractiveness of an interactive product.

The theoretical work model illustrates how the pragmatic and hedonic qualities influence the subjective perception of attractiveness giving rise to consequent behaviour and emotions.

The model separates the four essential aspects:

  • The product quality intended by the designer.
  • The subjective perception of quality and subjective evaluation of quality.
  • The independent pragmatic and hedonic qualities.
  • Behavioural and emotional consequences.

Diagram1: The theoretical work model illustrates how the pragmatic and hedonic qualities influence the subjective perception of attractiveness giving rise to consequent behaviour and emotions. (© User Interface Design GmbH)

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instrument of measurement

To measure the attractiveness we applied an instrument of measurement in the format of semantic differentials. It consists of 28 seven-step items whose poles are opposite adjectives (e.g. "confusing - clear", "unusual - ordinary", "good - bad"). Each set of adjective items is ordered into a scale of intensity.

Each of the middle values of an item group creates a scale value for pragmatic quality (PQ) , hedonic Quality (HQ – includ HQ-I and HQ-S) and attractiveness (ATT).

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The theoretical work model was researched and tested in several studies by Hassenzahl and colleagues.

The studies showed that the hedonic and pragmatic qualities are perceived consistently and independent of one another. Both contribute equally to the rating of attractiveness.

While testing and implementing AttrakDiff-1 it became clear that a separation of the two constituent aspects of hedonic quality, namely stimulation and identity would be preferable.

Hence AttrakDiff was developed. AttrakDiff optimises and supports the distinction between the sub-qualities, stimulation and identity, of hedonic quality (see also Publications).


Hassenzahl, M. (2006).
Hedonic, emotional and experiential perspectives on product quality
In: C. Ghaoui (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction, p. 266–272

Hassenzahl, M. & Tractinsky, N. (2006)
User experience – a research agenda
In: Behavior & Information Technology, 25(2), p. 91–97

Tractinsky, N. & Hassenzahl, M.(2005)
Arguing for Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction
In: i-com - Zeitschrift für interaktive und kooperative Medien, 3, p. 66–68

Hassenzahl, M. (2004).
Beautiful objects as an extension of the Self. A reply
In: Human Computer Interaction, 19, p. 377–386

Hassenzahl, M. (2004).
The interplay of beauty, goodness and usability in interactive products
In: Human Computer Interaction, 19, p. 319–349

Hassenzahl, M. (2003).
The thing and I: understanding the relationship between user and product
In: M. Blythe, C. Overbeeke, A. F. Monk, & P. C. Wright (Eds.), Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers

Hassenzahl, M. & Hofvenschiöld, E. (2003).
"If it doesn't feel right, who cares if it works?" oder Muss Software mehr als nur gebrauchstauglich sein?
In: M. Peissner & K. Röse (Eds.), Usability Professionals 2003, p. 135-138, Stuttgart: German Chapter der Usability Professionals' Association e.V.

Hassenzahl, M. (2002).
The effect of perceived hedonic quality on product appealingness.
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 13, p. 479–497

Hassenzahl, M., Kekez, R., & Burmester, M. (2002)
The importance of a software's pragmatic quality depends on usage modes
In: H. Luczak, A. E. Cakir, & G. Cakir (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th international conference on Work With Display Units (WWDU 2002), p. 275–276, Berlin: ERGONOMIC Institut für Arbeits- und Sozialforschung
download article

Hassenzahl, M., Burmester, M. & Beu, A. (2001)
Engineering Joy
In: IEEE Software, 1&2, p. 70–76
download article

Hassenzahl, M., Platz, A., Burmester, M. & Lehner, K. (2000).
Hedonic and Ergonomic Quality Aspects Determine a Software's Appeal
In: Proceedings of the CHI 2000 Conference on Human Factors in Computing, The Hague, NL, p. 201–208

Further publications
Publications from Marc Hassenzahl