Purpose - The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of interface consistency on the learning performance of skilled and novice computer users who are studying with web-based e-learning systems. Design/methodology/approach - A literature review was conducted, and an experiment was set up to collect data on learning performance with respect to interface consistency and e-learning systems. Statistical methods were applied. Findings - Skilled students, made more errors than novices when using a physically inconsistent e-learning system. The learning satisfaction level of those skilled with computers was lower than that of novices using such a system. Conceptually consistent systems facilitated skilled students' learning satisfaction. Communicationally consistent systems closed the achievement gap within the novice student group. However, the effect of communicational consistency on skilled students was contradictory. Originality/value - Implications include suggestions for designing web-based interfaces of e-learning systems and library web sites.