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16:7 Display Only Necessary Information

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16:7 Display Only Necessary Information

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 3 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 4 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Topic:

Web Content - Organization


Guideline:

Limit page information only to that which is needed by users while on that page.


Comments:

Do not overload pages or interactions with extraneous information. Displaying too much information may confuse users and hinder assimilation of needed information. Allow users to remain focused on the desired task by excluding information that task analysis and usability testing indicates is not relevant to their current task. When user information requirements cannot be precisely anticipated by the designer, allow users to tailor displays online.


Sources:

  • Ahlstrom, V. & Longo, K. (2001). Human factors design guide update (Report number DOT/FAA/CT-96/01): A revision to chapter 8 - computer human interface guidelines. Retrieved November 2005, from http://acb220.tc.faa.gov/technotes/dot_faa_ct-01_08.pdf.
  • Engel, S.E. & Granda, R.E. (1975). Guidelines for Man/Display Interfaces (Technical Report TR 00.2720). Poughkeepsie, NY: IBM.
  • Gerhardt-Powals, J. (1996). Cognitive engineering principles for enhancing human-computer performance. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 8(2), 189-211.
  • Mayhew, D. (1992). Principles and Guidelines in User Interface Design. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Morkes, J. & Nielsen, J. (1998). Applying writing guidelines to Web pages. Retrieved November 2005, from http://www.useit.com/papers/webwriting/rewriting.html.
  • Powers, R., Sarbaugh, L.E., Culbertson, H., & Flores, T. (1961). Comprehension of graphs (Bulletin 31). Madison: Department of Agricultural Journalism, University of Wisconsin.
  • Smith, S.L. & Mosier, J.N. (1986, August). Guidelines for designing user interface software. The MITRE Corporation Technical Report (ESD-TR-86-278).
  • Spyridakis, J.H. (2000). Guidelines for authoring comprehensible web pages and evaluating their success. Technical Communication, 47(3), 359-382.
  • Stewart, T. (1980). Communicating with dialogues. Ergonomics, 23, 909-919.
  • Tullis, T.S. (1981). An evaluation of alphanumeric, graphic and color information displays. Human Factors, 23, 541-550.
  • Tullis, T.S. (2001). Web usability lessons learned. Fidelity Center for Applied Technology Technical Report. Fidelity Investments.
  • Zhang, B-T. & Seo, Y-W. (2001). Personalized web-document filtering using reinforcement learning. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 15(7), 665-685.

Poor Example:

An example of extraneous information. In this case, the user is looking for a weather forecast for Manchester, United Kingdom. The site provides this information, but also indicates tonight's vacation weather for Prague-this information is extraneous to the users original task.

16_07_bad_example