Olga Shabalina

Email: ois2@illinois.edu

COHORT: 2018

RESEARCH INTERESTS
My research interests build upon my previous studies that explored cultural differences in ad layout design by looking at perception patterns of linguistic groups as manifested in photos of landscape and household scenes. In my PhD program I am focused on the relationship between perception patterns and ad layout design. In particular, I investigate what structural features of ad messages correspond to focus of perception and serve as points of entry, and what arrangement of ad elements create order or cause chaos in a message flow. To fully understand the relationship between message processing and ad layout design, I am looking both at static and dynamic layouts of brand content in user-control interactive media, and plan on using eye-tracking technologies to investigate this relationship. My overarching research goal is to explore how culture interacts with media technologies in layout design of brand and user-generated content in social networking sites. 

My epistemology originates in Vygotsky’s school of cultural-historical psychology presented in works on speech and thinking (L. Vygotsky, A. Luria) and visual perception (A. Zaporozhets). I also draw upon Yarbus’ pioneering psychophysiological studies in human eye movements. 

RESEARCH KEYWORDS
Ad layout design, structural features, message flow, attention, visual perception, gaze direction, interactivity, social networking advertising, culture, media technologies

WHAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME
I was born in Magnitogorsk of the southern Ural Mountains, the first socialist industrial-city in Russia, founded in 1929 around the building of the second largest steel mill in the world. Magnitogorsk Steel Mill was conceived as a prototype of the U.S. Steel Gary Steel Works in Indiana, and was designed by Henry Freyn & Company of Chicago that also designed the U.S. Steel legendary Gary Steel Works. Being a secondary school student growing up in the Ural Mountains, I did figure skating and performed in regional competitions in Russia. I still enjoy doing figure skating in my free time. I love Russian ballet and support Alexander Ovechkin whenever Washington Capitals play in the NHL.

Olga Shabalina