Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
Clutter is an aspect of web aesthetics that has come to the fore in recent years as the research community works toward a fuller understanding of what clutter is and how it affects users’ perceptions and performance with interfaces. In this paper, I examine the possible effects of cultural background on users’ first impressions of display clutter in website designs. The study was conducted using a series of five-second impression tests that asked participants from two distinct cultural groups to view a set of screenshots encompassing multiple levels of clutter, as measured by a JPEG file size measure. Results showed some effects from cultural background on perceptions of clutter, raised some issues with the cross-cultural applicability of the objective JPEG measure’s ability to predict subjective judgments, and provide some evidence that organization is a key distinguishing factor between visual complexity and clutter.