Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > An investigation of the aesthetic fidelity of live websites

The idea of "aesthetic fidelity" was developed to measure the degree to which affective messages and emotions intended by interface designers are communicated to users through the aesthetics of an interface. Until now, however, aesthetic fidelity research has been confined to highly artificial experiments. This study investigates the aesthetic fidelity of live, "real-world" interfaces. Two web designers were interviewed to discover the processes they use when designing websites and to compile a list of affective messages they tried to send in specific sites they created. A small user study was then conducted to find out how strongly these affective messages were received by users. Results from both phases of the research are used to draw conclusions on how the idea of aesthetic fidelity can be applied to real-world interfaces, how future aesthetic fidelity studies can be conducted and what tools designers can use to increase the aesthetic fidelity of their interfaces.