The comparison of web and mobile interfaces of a learning management system in terms of perceived aesthetics

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016

Student: Nergiz Kılınç

Principal Supervisor (For Co-Supervisor Theses): ÖMER DELİALİOĞLU


This study aims to inquire the perceived differences in aesthetics of web and mobile interfaces of a Learning Management System (LMS) using an aesthetic measurement inventory named Visual Aesthetics of Websites Inventory (VisAWI) and to further investigate the students’ opinions on the effect of these differences on their learning. The data were gathered from a total of 128 university students from freshmen to senior, studying in Middle East Technical University, Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology. An embedded experimental design was used as the research method. Regarding the data collection instruments, while VisAWI was used for collecting quantitative data, individual interviews were made with 10 students who answered the inventory for gathering qualitative data. Before applying the data collection instruments, in order for students to have the same experiences in the two interfaces they were required to perform the most frequently used features of the LMS, using a pre-set task list. The mean values of each dimensions of VisAWI, i.e. simplicity, diversity, colorfulness and craftsmanship, and the mean value of the overall perceived aesthetics of the learning management system were obtained. In order to analyze if statistical significant differences exist in the aesthetical dimensions scores of students, paired samples t-test was conducted. Following the quantitative data analysis, a qualitative deductive content analysis was performed on the collected and transcribed interview data. The results of the t-test showed that, while there are significant differences in the simplicity, diversity and craftsmanship aesthetical dimensions between web and mobile interfaces, there is no significant difference in the colorfulness dimension. The overall aesthetics of both web and mobile interfaces of the LMS were perceived better than average. The results of the content analysis on the interview data supported the findings of the VisAWI. Furthermore, students commented that aesthetical components of the web and mobile interfaces had an effect on their learning, motivation, and attention.