טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentYonit Shwarts
SubjectThe Effects of Visual Layout Complexity of Web Pages on
their Usability
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Professor Parush Avi
Full Professor Shtub Avraham


Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of visual layout factors on the usability of web pages. We were interested in particular whether known Graphical User Interface (GUI) layout factors and guidelines such as grouping, alignment, and density apply in a similar fashion to the web environment. The results of our experiment show that grouping and amount of objects have significant influence on the usability level of the web page. We found significant three-way interaction between grouping, alignment and amount of objects. Local density and alignment were not found to be significant factors as they were found to be in the GUI environment.

According to our results, there are few differences between the influence of certain layout factors on the usability of a web page and their influence on a GUI environment. Therefore we cannot apply automatically all design rules as established in a GUI environment when designing a web page.

In this study we have shown that the amount of objects on its own and when interacts with grouping and local density, affects all visual search performance measures.  When designing a web page, one must pay attention that there aren’t too many objects on the page. However, according to this research, it makes no difference whether the objects are aligned, nor whether the local density is fixed. Designing rules for the web were found to be less strict than the ones for the GUI environment. These findings partly result from the fact that there are many differences between GUI design and web design.