While graphical design principles are generally based on the psychology of visual perception and how viewers are able to differentiate stimuli based on the degree of contrast between them, there is not currently much literature investigating the impact of hue and brightness contrast on users’ ability to quickly and accurately navigate a graphical interface.This study was designed to gauge participants’ accuracy and speed in completing a simple visual search task using a graphical user interface. Thirty adult participants were presented with a series of randomly generated layouts of rectangles, each layout using different levels of luminance and chromaticity contrast, and asked to identify how many of these rectangles matched in color.Both task completion time and proportion of correct responses showed significant interactions between the two types of contrast, as well as main effects of both chromaticity and luminance, with large effect sizes. This supports current graphic design paradigms and emphasizes the importance of adhering to these standards to guarantee efficiency in their use, especially as graphical user interfaces become increasingly prevalent in everyday life.


Neuhoff, John




Cognition and Perception | Cognitive Neuroscience | Graphics and Human Computer Interfaces


Visual Perception, Visual Attention, Graphical Interface Design, Color Contrast, Luminance, Chromaticity

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Peyton L. Corbi