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In the 'blog' about the ribbon design, Jensen Harris talks about complexity. I've always thought the levels of complexity were the number of 'clicks' needed to arrive at a certain submenu or screen where some action can be done. But that's an out of hand definition. I haven't found any better.

How would you define 'levels of complexity' or would you? Maybe it isn't something important.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Complexity in navigation is determined by the difficulty for the user to make each decission. It is not much important the number of steps but the self-evident they are to take.

This is related to the concept of information scent.

Research data about the 3-click myth is provided here.

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IMO levels of complexity should involve a number of different factors - the number of clicks, the pages loaded, the time to process. This is especially important if there are changes in the display from one click, even if no page requests are made.

I think it is important, as one factor in application navigation, but not necessarily the only one.

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