In the field of HCI, website usability and visual appeal have been studied extensively. Participant experience with a website genre influences the use and perception of the website. Word-of-Mouth (WOM), such as user reviews, influences users in hotel, restaurant, movie, and many other e-commerce domains. Thus, a company's or product's reputation can alter a consumer's behaviour towards that product. Our work aimed to acquire an understanding of the effect of textual WOM on usability and visual appeal. This is a novel approach to the topic. This research was undertaken using an unfamiliar city council website to exclude the influence of one's own past experiences and to allow for greater control of the textual WOM. We found that visual appeal, objective and subjective usability were all influenced by text that established reputations.

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Keywords Aesthetics, Reputation, Usability, Visual appeal, Websites, Written/textual WOM
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Conference 28th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2016
Stojmenovic, M. (Milica), Grundy, J. (John), Farrell, V. (Vivienne), Biddle, R, & Hoon, L. (Leonard). (2016). Does textual word-of-mouth affect look and feel?. In Proceedings of the 28th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2016 (pp. 257–265). doi:10.1145/3010915.3010926