Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 5 Number 3 1988 pp. 85-99

The Effects of Display Formats on Information Systems Design

Liberatore, Matthew J, Titus, George J, and Dixon, Paul W

ABSTRACT: A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of differences in task, display, and viewer characteristics on interpretation accuracy, viewer preference, and subjects' utility ratings of the displays. Practicing engineering managers at Lockheed-Georgia company were the subjects. Display format influenced interpretation accuracy only through its interaction with task-related variables. Although improvement in interpretation accuracy occurred over time, no comparative advantage of graphs over tables was found. No clear viewer preferences for graphs or tables were expressed, except at the conclusion of the experiment, when tables were favored for finance-related reports. Tables were generally perceived to be more useful in answering interpretation accuracy questions, although the results were not as definitive in the detailed analysis. Personality type, as measured by field-independence/dependence, was unrelated to differences in interpretation accuracy and viewer preference.

Key words and phrases: graphics in information systems, information media