During the summerschool in Haifa Prof. Noam Tractinsky from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev gave a presentation about Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction. It was good to meet him in person and get some more insight in his work - as I refer to it typically in my HCI class.
In short his finding can be summarized by: What is Beautiful is Usable , . In his talk he had some interesting example - you can look at a web page for one second only and you will figure out if it is a good design or not. There has been previous work in Japan  similar results - suggesting that this may be universial. Methodical I think the research approaches are not straightforward and may be disputed in parts - but the basic findings are very intuitive and should be taken more into account.
 Tractinsky, N. 1997. Aesthetics and apparent usability: empirically assessing cultural and methodological issues. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, United States, March 22 - 27, 1997). S. Pemberton, Ed. CHI '97. ACM, New York, NY, 115-122. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/258549.258626
 Tractinsky, N., Shoval-Katz A. and Ikar, D. (2000) What is Beautiful is Usable. Interacting with Computers, 13(2): 127-145.
 Kurosu, M. and Kashimura, K. 1995. Apparent usability vs. inherent usability: experimental analysis on the determinants of the apparent usability. In Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Denver, Colorado, United States, May 07 - 11, 1995). I. Katz, R. Mack, and L. Marks, Eds. CHI '95. ACM, New York, NY, 292-293. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/223355.223680