Project

Website Aesthetics

Goal: Understanding how people's aesthetic perception of websites is shaped by their exposure and expertise, as well as from website elements and properties. Aim of the project is to predict the average aesthetic judgment from the properties of a page and intended users.

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Project log

Giulio Gabrieli
added a research item
The aesthetic appearance of websites can influence the perception of their usability, reliability, and trustworthiness. A majority of studies investigating the relationship between aesthetic features of web pages and their user perception consider only a limited number of web pages’ visual features and focus exclusively on explicit aesthetic judgments. In this work, we aim to overcome the limitations of previous works by employing multiple visual features, as well as implicit aesthetic appreciation measures estimated by individuals’ neurophysiological activity. Furthermore we aim to study the ability of machine learning models to predict the aesthetic judgments of webpages. We also investigate the differences between the prediction accuracy of explicit and implicit judgments of web pages. Our approach, based on the analysis of physiological signals, uses machine learning and neural network models to estimate users’ implicit aesthetic pleasure. In our experiments, a group of young adults (N = 59, 33 females, Mean age = 21.52 years) assessed the aesthetic appeal of 100 web pages and 50 emotional pictures while we recorded their physiological activity. Our results demonstrate that machine learning models have a higher accuracy at predicting users’ explicit judgments, as compared to implicit judgments.
Giulio Gabrieli
added a research item
Aesthetic perception of websites have been proven to influence perceived visual appeal, usability, reliability and trust. So far, few attempts have been made to infer the effect of website elements (e.g. number of pictures, quantity of text, layout, colors) on the overall perceived aesthetic. Moreover, those studies have rarely focused on users’ exposure to web pages and their technical knowledge on web development. The aim of this study is to investigate the physiological correlates that play a role in aesthetic decision making, and the interaction with users’ expertise. We hypothesize that aesthetic judgment is mediated by the level of expertise of the users, both explicit- in the form of assessment survey (where users are asked what devices they use for browsing, average time spent on websites and technical knowledge), and implicit- estimated from physiological measurements (EDA, ECG, EMG and pupil dilation). To test our hypothesis, we conducted an experiment where university students (N=44, 31 females, mean age 21.4) were shown websites and emotional pictures, and for each image the aesthetic appeal was assessed using a 5-points Likert-scale. During the sessions, physiological activities were recorded. Results using Recursive partitioning suggest that elements position and images (people and faces) are the most important factors in determining the attractiveness of a website. Furthermore, aesthetic perception is related to average number of websites browsed per day and time spent browsing. Results will provide insight on web users' aesthetic judgment of websites.
Giulio Gabrieli
added a project goal
Understanding how people's aesthetic perception of websites is shaped by their exposure and expertise, as well as from website elements and properties. Aim of the project is to predict the average aesthetic judgment from the properties of a page and intended users.