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

Spiekermann-Hoff, Sarah and Korunovska, Jana (2014) About the Importance of Interface Complexity and Entropy for Online Information Sharing. Behaviour and Information Technology, 33 (6). pp. 636-645. ISSN 1362-3001


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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Behaviour & Information Technology on 31 Jan 2014, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0144929X.2013.845910. To see the final version of this paper please visit the publisher's website. Access to the published version requires a subscription.
Keywords: online information sharing, disclosure, interface complexity, interface design, entropy, privacy
Divisions: Departments > Informationsverarbeitung u Prozessmanag.
Version of the Document: Accepted for Publication
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2017 13:53
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2017 14:51
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/67746/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/5490


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