Journal of the Association for Information Systems


To date, little research has been conducted to explore how consumers perceive and use the Web as an advertising medium. Although numerous guidelines for Web home page design exist, the vast majority of advice is based on opinion, personal experience or observation, not necessarily on empirical evidence. A combination of research methods (focus groups, interviews, and experiments) is used to identify design elements that influence consumers' perceptions of Web page complexity. The study reports that perceived complexity is a result of four major factors: number of links, number of graphics, home page length, and animation. Also, we find evidence that Web page complexity is related to communication effectiveness. The managerial implications are discussed.