Mugge, R. and Schoormans, J.P.L. (2012) Product design and apparent usability. The influence of novelty in product appearance. Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 43, No. 6, pp. 1081-1088.

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DOI= 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.03.009.

Mugge and Schoormans studied the effects of novelty on the perceived usability. They used washing machines and cameras as test material, and varied the appearance of the products in the tests. For the washing machines, they merely changed the colour into black to make them look more novel.

The results showed a negative effect of the novel appearance on the perceived usability. For the novice users, the effect was stronger than for the experts. The authors conclude that people associate high level of novelty with technological advancement, and therefore expect novel products to be less usable, especially for novice users.

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