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Importance of elemental representations in icons

Authors Goonetilleke, Ravindra S. View this author's profile
Shih, Heloisa Martins
Kurniawan, Sri Hastuti
Issue Date 2000
Summary Icons continue to gain popularity in human computer interfaces. Icon design and evaluation guidelines however, continue to develop in order to know, prior to testing, the elements that make an icon appropriate. Most previous studies related to icons have investigated the design aspects. Nevertheless, the results of those studies cannot be used in new designs of icons as they have concentrated on the artistic aspects rather than the function the icon represents.The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between an icon and the function it represents and the relative importance of the function's elements for the icon to be considered appropriate. The goal is to identify and prioritize the elemental representations in the icon. The key factor in this study is the division of functions into functional elements that represent action, object, and utility elements. An experiment was conducted with 50 Hong Kong Chinese participants. The participants rated the icons in terms of appropriateness, overall meaning of the function, and element representations on a 7-point scale. The ANOVA and pair-wise comparison's results showed that the element representations explain the variations of meaning and appropriateness of a computer icon. Correlation analysis supported by factor analysis results indicate that the importance ranking among the elements differ and they can be used as an indicator of overall meaning and appropriateness.
Language English
Format Preprint
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