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6:1 Avoid Cluttered Displays

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6:1 Avoid Cluttered Displays

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 5 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Page Structure - General


Create pages that are not considered cluttered by users.


Clutter is when excess items on a page lead to a degradation of performance when trying to find certain information. Studies have shown that users can find what they are looking for more quickly in a sparse and uncluttered display than in a dense display. On an uncluttered display, all important search targets are highly salient, i.e., clearly available. One study found that test participants tended to agree on which displays were least cluttered and those that were most cluttered.


  • Rosenholtz, R., Li, Y., Mansfield, J. & Jin, Z. (2005). Feature congestion: a measure of display. CHI 2005 Proceedings.

Poor Example:

Cluttered pages lead to poorly-performing sites.


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