Determinants and Consequences of Perceived Complexity in Human‐Computer Interaction

Dov Te'eni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A number of recently published studies on human‐computer interface variables report contradictory results. A lack of underlying theory may be the cause. This study investigates the usefulness of employing an intermediate variable–perceived complexity–in examining the impact of two information system (IS) variables on performance: the mode of presentation, which has been extensively studied; and the number of windows, which has scarcely been studied. The study demonstrates the usefulness of understanding the role of perceived complexity in human‐computer interaction. The specific results support past findings with regard to graphs vs. tables and reveal new findings on the role of windows. Most interesting is the interaction between the two IS variables. The use of more windows is significantly more beneficial for tabular, rather than graphical, presentation. The realization that perceived complexity is affected by task complexity and by IS variables has important implications for the design of flexible information systems. These implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-181
Number of pages16
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision Support Systems and System Dynamics


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