Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Comber, T & Maltby, JR 1994, 'Screen complexity and user design preferences in windows applications', in S Howard & YK Leung (eds), Harmony through working together: proceedings of OZCHI 94, Melbourne, Vic., 28 November - 1 December, Computer Human Interaction Special Interest Group, Downer, ACT.


This paper evaluates the validity of a formal method for assessing the quality of screen layouts in graphical user interfaces. A technique developed by Bonsieppe for quantifying the layout complexity of a printed page has been applied to the opening screens in thirteen Microsoft Windows applications. Thirty subjects were asked to rank the same thirteen screens on the basis of "good" design. A significant negative correlation was found between the subjects’ rankings and the complexity ratings, indicating that users’ do not like “simple” screens. The reasons for this negative correlation are explored.