Predicting Perceived Screen Clutter By Feature Congestion
ISSN der Zeitschrift
Mensch & Computer 2011: überMEDIEN|ÜBERmorgen
Adding functionality to a computer user interface frequently results in adding more visual features to the screen. The question of when, exactly, a screen becomes too crowded is often answered arbitrarily, or via expensive usability testing. The present study investigates an algorithm presented by Rosenholtz et al. to calculate “Feature Congestion” as a measure of visual clutter on the screen, and whether or not it can accurately predict users’ experiencing a screen as being cluttered (2005, 2007a). Screenshots of websites which were equidistant in Feature Congestion were subject to a psychophysical paired comparison scaling experiment with 29 participants. Results from the experiment indicate that the Feature Congestion model can accurately predict perceptions of visual clutter on a computer user interface. Practical implications of the present findings are also discussed.