Understanding Graphical User Interface (GUI) Trends Based on Kawaii (Cute)

Anirudh Kundu, Michiko Ohkura

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In today’s ever changing world, it is very important to keep a holistic track of a user’s needs and wants. Maslow proposed that human needs can be organized into a hierarchy that ranges from base level needs such as food and water to top tier concepts such as self-fulfillment [1]. The notions of self fulfilment emerge from the emotional comfort that a user experiences whenever he/she interacts with any product or situation. Hence, a specialized understanding of various emotions and their effects is required. This brings us to a form of complicated human emotion that we have often elicited and experienced in our life. The emotion of ‘kawaii’ or ‘cute’ or the ‘Aww emotion.’ This study focuses on the kawaiiness of various design trends followed by different websites or graphical user interfaces (GUIs). It aims to evaluate the kawaii features that enhance or diminish the approachability and attractiveness of different web-based interfaces through self-devised experimentation and analysis. The results show clear notions of ‘kawaiiness’ in certain design trends that use pastel colors and softer animations. At the same time, evident characteristics for ‘not kawaii’ websites that used darker and bolder colors along with real images were also found.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHCI International 2021 - Late Breaking Papers
Subtitle of host publicationDesign and User Experience - 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021, Proceedings
EditorsConstantine Stephanidis, Marcelo M. Soares, Marcelo M. Soares, Elizabeth Rosenzweig, Aaron Marcus, Sakae Yamamoto, Hirohiko Mori, Pei-Luen Patrick Rau, Gabriele Meiselwitz, Xiaowen Fang, Abbas Moallem
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783030902377
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , HCII 2021 - Virtual, online
Duration: 2021 Jul 242021 Jul 29

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13094 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , HCII 2021
CityVirtual, online


  • Approachability
  • Emotion
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Kawaii (Cute)
  • Usability
  • User Experience (UX)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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