Visual composition of graphical elements on non-rectangular displays

Marcos Serrano, Anne Roudaut, Pourang Irani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

10 Citations (Scopus)
334 Downloads (Pure)


Graphical user interfaces are composed of varying elements (text, images, etc.) whose visual arrangement has been relatively well established in the context of rectangular interfaces. The advent of non-rectangular displays questions this knowledge. In this paper we study how traditional content layouts can be adapted to fit different non-rectangular displays. We performed a first qualitative study where graphic designers fitted text and images into different non-rectangular displays. From the analysis of their output we generalize and adapt ten composition principles that have been proposed in the literature for rectangular displays. We evaluate the revised principles through a paired comparison questionnaire where 57 participants compared pairs of layouts. Using the Bradley-Terry-Luce model to analyze our data we show that some results contradict current conventions on visual design for rectangular displays. We then extracted the most interesting cases and conducted a follow up study with additional shapes to investigate how the principles generalize. From these results we propose a set of guidelines for designing visual content for non-rectangular displays.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017


  • Freeform display
  • non-rectangular display
  • Visual design guidelines
  • H5.2
  • User interface

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