The effects of color scheme on the appraisal of an office environment and task performance
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The purpose of this study is to explore the differences between achromatic and chromatic schemes in the appraisal of an office environment and task performance. To investigate only the hue effect on the subjective impressions of the offices and participants’ performance, it was important to use the colors with the same value (lightness) on the surfaces of achromatic and chromatic scheme. The study has two phases. In the first phase, a field survey was conducted at the Fine Arts Faculty of Bilkent University to obtain data in order to determine the artificial lighting and color specifications of the experiment room that was to be used in the experimental study. In the second phase, an experimental study was conducted. The same sample group participated in the experiment for two color schemes which were achromatic and chromatic. The participants were sixty office workers who are academic and administrative staff from different departments of Bilkent University in Ankara. The study was carried out in an office room at the Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design at Bilkent University, and the room was redesigned according to the purposes of the study. In the first stage of the experiment participants were tested for color vision deficiencies and after a few minutes of adaptation, they were given performance tasks consisting of problem-solving and proofreading tests while the coordinator of the experiment was timing this process. Later, the participants evaluated the task they performed (self-report of the task) and the presented office setting by filling out the questionnaire, consisting of a set of bipolar adjective pairs, preference and association questions in 5 point scale likert-type and open-ended questions. In the second stage, the same procedure was followed for the other color scheme (achromatic or chromatic). Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) 13.0 was used to analyze the data. It was found that the office environment with chromatic scheme was found more pleasant, attractive, satisfying and dynamic than the achromatic scheme. In terms of task performance the results showed that participants’ performances were better in the chromatic scheme than their performance in the achromatic scheme.