About the Importance of Interface Complexity and Entropy for Online Information Sharing

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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In this paper, we describe two experiments that show the powerful influence of interface complexity and
entropy on online information sharing
behaviour. 134 participants were asked to do a creativity test and
answer six open questions against three different screen backgrounds of increasing complexity. Our data
shows that, as an interface becomes more complex and has more entropy users refer less to themselves
and show less information sharing breadth. However, their verbal creativity and information sharing
depth do not suffer in the same way. Instead, an inverse U shaped relationship between interface
complexity and creativity as well as information sharing depth can be observed: Users become more creative and thoughtful until a certain tipping
point of interface complexity is reached. At that point, creativity and th inking suffer, leading to significantly less disclosure. This result challenges the general HCI assumption that simplicity is always best for computers interface design
, as users'creativity and information sharing depth initially increases with more interface complexity. Our results suggest that the Yerkes Dodson Law may be a key theory underlying online creativity and depth of online disclosures.
Seiten (von - bis)636 - 645
FachzeitschriftBehaviour and Information Technology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Juli 2014