Georgia Tech Research Institute

Displays: Issue 5 of 6

Issue: Complex or inconsistent user interface screens may be difficult for users to understand.

User interfaces that are complex (for example, displays that contain many controls associated with multiple tasks) can be difficult for users with cognitive impairments to navigate. Inconsistencies in displays, such as changes in control placement from screen to screen or inconsistent use of terminology, can be confusing to users with cognitive impairments. Similarly, inconsistent or excessive use of abbreviations can decrease reading comprehension for users with cognitive impairments. Maintaining consistency and keeping the interface as simple as possible are important usability considerations, and will improve the accessibility of the device to all users.

Populations Impacted: Users with cognitive impairments.

Potential Solutions:
  • Reduce the complexity of user interface screens where possible. Design screens around individual user tasks (for example, a gift registry kiosk might have a screen dedicated to selecting a broad category of products, and another screen dedicated to selecting a more specific product type). Avoid complex displays that contain a large number of options and controls.

  • Place common controls consistently throughout the user interface. If there are controls that appear on multiple screens, such as navigation controls, ensure that the placement of those controls is the same on every screen.

  • Use consistent terminology throughout the user interface. Ensure that names and abbreviations are applied consistently throughout the user interface.

  • Limit the use of abbreviations. Abbreviations (especially those that may be unfamiliar to users) should be used sparingly in the user interface.

Applicable Guidelines:
Section 255 - 1193.41(i)(2)(a)
HFDS - 2.3.1,,,,,