Icon identification in context: the changing role of icon characteristics with user experience.

Authors: Isherwood, S.J., McDougall, S.J.P. and Curry, M.B.

Journal: Hum Factors

Volume: 49

Issue: 3

Pages: 465-476

ISSN: 0018-7208

DOI: 10.1518/001872007X200102

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: This research examined the relative importance of icon characteristics in determining the speed and accuracy of icon identification. BACKGROUND: Studies to date have focused on the role of one or two icon characteristics when users first experience an icon set. This means that little is known about the relative importance of icon characteristics or how the role of icon characteristics might change as users gain experience with icons. METHODS: Thirty participants carried out an icon identification task over a long series of trials to simulate learning through experience. Icon characteristics investigated included semantic distance, concreteness, familiarity, and visual complexity. RESULTS: Icon characteristics were major determinants of performance, accounting for up to 69% of the variance observed in performance. However, the importance of icon characteristics changed with experience: Semantic distance is crucial initially while icon-function relationships are learned, but familiarity is important later because it has lasting effects on access to long-term memory representations. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that icon concreteness may not be of primary importance when identifying icons and that semantic distance and familiarity may be more important. APPLICATION: Designers need to take into account icon characteristics other than concreteness when creating icons, particularly semantic distance and familiarity. The precise importance of the latter characteristics will vary depending on whether icons are rarely encountered or frequently used.

Source: PubMed

Icon identification in context: The changing role of icon characteristics with user experience

Authors: Isherwood, S.J., McDougall, S.J.R. and Curry, M.B.

Journal: HUMAN FACTORS

Volume: 49

Issue: 3

Pages: 465-476

eISSN: 1547-8181

ISSN: 0018-7208

DOI: 10.1518/001872007X200102

Source: Web of Science (Lite)

Icon identification in context: The changing role of icon characteristics with user experience

Authors: Isherwood, S., McDougall, S. and Curry, M.

Journal: Human Factors

Volume: 49

Pages: 465-476

DOI: 10.1518/001872007X200102

Abstract:

Objective: This research examined the relative importance of icon characteristics in determining the speed and accuracy of icon identification. Background: Studies to date have focused on the role of one or two icon characteristics when users first experience an icon set. This means that little is known about the relative importance of icon characteristics or how the role of icon characteristics might change as users gain experience with icons. Methods: Thirty participants carried out an icon identification task over a long series of trials to simulate learning through experience. Icon characteristics investigated included semantic distance, concreteness, familiarity, and visual complexity. Results: Icon characteristics were major determinants of performance, accounting for up to 69% of the variance observed in performance. However, the importance of icon characteristics changed with experience: Semantic distance is crucial initially while icon-function relationships are learned, but familiarity is important later because it has lasting effects on access to long-term memory representations. Conclusion: These findings suggest that icon concreteness may not be of primary importance when identifying icons and that semantic distance and familiarity may be more important. Application: Designers need to take into account icon characteristics other than concreteness when creating icons, particularly semantic distance and familiarity. The precise importance of the latter characteristics will vary depending on whether icons are rarely encountered or frequently used.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Sine McDougall

Icon identification in context: the changing role of icon characteristics with user experience.

Authors: Isherwood, S.J., McDougall, S.J.P. and Curry, M.B.

Journal: Human factors

Volume: 49

Issue: 3

Pages: 465-476

eISSN: 1547-8181

ISSN: 0018-7208

DOI: 10.1518/001872007x200102

Abstract:

Objective

This research examined the relative importance of icon characteristics in determining the speed and accuracy of icon identification.

Background

Studies to date have focused on the role of one or two icon characteristics when users first experience an icon set. This means that little is known about the relative importance of icon characteristics or how the role of icon characteristics might change as users gain experience with icons.

Methods

Thirty participants carried out an icon identification task over a long series of trials to simulate learning through experience. Icon characteristics investigated included semantic distance, concreteness, familiarity, and visual complexity.

Results

Icon characteristics were major determinants of performance, accounting for up to 69% of the variance observed in performance. However, the importance of icon characteristics changed with experience: Semantic distance is crucial initially while icon-function relationships are learned, but familiarity is important later because it has lasting effects on access to long-term memory representations.

Conclusion

These findings suggest that icon concreteness may not be of primary importance when identifying icons and that semantic distance and familiarity may be more important.

Application

Designers need to take into account icon characteristics other than concreteness when creating icons, particularly semantic distance and familiarity. The precise importance of the latter characteristics will vary depending on whether icons are rarely encountered or frequently used.

Source: Europe PubMed Central

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