Effects of visual simplicity in product design and individual differences in preference of interactive products

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5 Scopus citations


Simplicity is often advocated as a key design factor in interactive products. It has been suggested that the simplicity (or complexity) of a product’s design influences consumers’ decision-making processes, potentially increasing or decreasing product value. However, the paradox of simplicity (Eytam et al. in Int J Hum–Comput Stud 105: 43–55, 2017) suggests that some moderating factors affect the relation between design simplicity and consumer preferences. The objective of this study was to test whether this paradox of simplicity in interactive products could be explained by considering the moderating role of individual differences in perceptions of the visual simplicity of a product’s user interface. We conducted an experiment to test this proposition, grouping users according to the following individual differences: personal innovativeness in the domain of information technology, internal computer self-efficacy, social comparison orientation, maximization, and centrality of visual product aesthetics. Our findings indicate that personal characteristics influence the perception of a design’s level of visual simplicity. This, in turn, influences instrumental (i.e., ease-of-use and functionality) and aesthetic product attribute judgments, and consumer preference. The results shed light on how product design is used to assess the quality of interactive products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1389
Number of pages43
JournalReview of Managerial Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Individual differences
  • Interactive products
  • Preference
  • Product design
  • Simplicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)


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