Seen from other side – Looking at culture aspects in web graphics

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Web graphics in the user interface design has always been considered on a secondary need in the web design. Web experience are more structured and introduced by human computer interaction and web code engineering. Cultural aspects are more been considered and studied as human lear-ning in a human computer science. This study investigates what are the strong cultural elements in visual communications that are influencing in web user interface design. This is accomplished by studying the difference between four brands in their web service across four countries. The research method is qualitative and the empirical data is gathered by interviewing design specialists and professionals working on web user interface design, interaction design and digital media marketing. A preliminary study analyses and compares four brands in four different countries’ websites in use of fonts, colours and layouts for site navigation using culture contexts High and Low theory by Edward T. Hall 1976. Visual culture is not only how people understand the meaning of colours, why one design visual expression can be seen differently by people in different age, gender, educational, geographies. Cultural understanding is creating different perceptions in designing information in web design. Culture is tolerating user’s satisfaction and performance in web UI. During the research, factors that consider high context and low context cultures form the perception of web user interface. It is necessary to tailor every user interface into a cultural based environ-ment, although the understandings of cultural visual communication in web graphics are much in-fluenced by brand strategy and content of the products. To design a perfect visual communication, the designer must understand the culture exist in variety of using design components building a clear understanding in visual communications.
Seliger, Marje
Thesis advisor
Vapaasalo, Tapio
culture, contexts–high and low, web user interface design, visual communication, brand