Visual layout has a strong impact on performance and is a critical factor in the design of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and Web pages. Many design guidelines employed in Web page design were inherited from human performance literature and GUI design studies and practices. However, few studies have investigated the more specific patterns of performance with Web pages that may reflect some differences between Web page and GUI design. We investigated interactions among four visual layout factors in Web page design (quantity of links, alignment, grouping indications, and density) in two experiments: one with pages in Hebrew, entailing right-to-left reading, and the other with English pages, entailing left-to-right reading. Some performance patterns (measured by search times and eye movements) were similar between languages. Performance was particularly poor in pages with many links and variable densities, but it improved with the presence of uniform density. Alignment was not shown to be a performance-enhancing factor. The findings are discussed in terms of the similarities and differences in the impact of layout factors between GUIs and Web pages. Actual or potential applications of this research include specific guidelines for Web page design. Copyright
Human Factors
Department of Psychology

Parush, A, Shwarts, Y. (Yonit), Shtub, A. (Avy), & Chandra, M.J. (M. Jeya). (2005). The impact of visual layout factors on performance in web pages: A cross-language study. Human Factors, 47(1), 141–157. doi:10.1518/0018720053653785