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Designing Visual Complexity for Dual-screen Media

Neate, T., Evans, M. & Jones, M. (2016). Designing Visual Complexity for Dual-screen Media. In: CHI '16. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (pp. 475-486). ACM. doi: 10.1145/2858036.2858112


So many people are now using handheld second screens whilst watching TV that application developers and broadcasters are designing companion applications – second screen content that accompanies a TV programme. The nature of such dual-screen use cases inherently causes attention to be split, somewhat unpredictably. Dual-screen complexity, a clear factor in this attention split, is largely unexplored by the literature and will have an unknown (and likely negative) impact on user experience (UX). Therefore, we use empirical techniques to investigate the objective and subjective effect of dual-screen visual complexity on attention distribution in a companion content scenario. Our sequence of studies culminates in the deployment of a companion application prototype that supports adjustment of complexity (by either content curator or viewer) to allow convergence on optimum experience. Our findings assist the effective design of dual-screen content, informing content providers how to managedual second screen complexity for enhanced UX through a more blended, complementary dual-screen experience.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: DOI:
Publisher Keywords: Attention; second screen; companion content; TV; visual complexity; adaptive UI
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
Text - Accepted Version
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