oa Alternation - Visual aesthetics and its effect on communication intent: a theoretical study and website evaluation

Volume 12, Issue 1a
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Despite its centrality to human thought and practice, aesthetics has not played a significant role in human computer interaction (HCI) research (Lavie & Tractinsky, 2003:2). Traditionally, the field of HCI's main emphasis has been on efficiency considerations (Lavie & Tractinsky, 2003:3). Although aesthetics applies to all human sensory domains (think of bad tasting food, revolting smells, cacophonic music, or coarse clothing), this paper mainly addresses the visual domain. Because visual aesthetics exists in everyday life, and it influences many of our choices, it is difficult to justify its absence from web design (Lavie & Tractinsky, 2003:3). Designing a website of high aesthetic quality enables the active communicator to enhance the persuasive appeal of the message directed at the passive fellow communicator visiting the website. With my research I intend to foreground the importance of visual aesthetics in website design, so that it will become a prominent feature of successful website design. I will furthermore apply the theory to demonstrate how visual aesthetics has been applied in a specific case.

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