Studies on Icon Effectiveness

20 Feb 2008 - 9:28am
6 years ago
1 reply
922 reads
Chris Whelan
2004

I found myself in a bit of a debate over the use of
icons, and would like to be able to cite empirical
data. Unfortunately I haven't located much
literature. Can anyone refer me to research that
compares icons with text buttons?

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Comments

20 Feb 2008 - 9:39am
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Hi Chris,

There is substantial research on the HFES database on icons and
labels. Check out the online search of articles on www.hfes.org
(human factors and ergnomic society).

Deborah Mayhew's book on Software user interface guidelines from the
early 1990s cites research on icons (and specifically icons
with/without text labels) and then extracts practical guidelines from
the research (which though data is still quite relevant).

You might also search www.hcibib.org which has a monster list of articles.

Issues with text and labels:

1. Performance
2. Easy of translation
3. Space
4. Accessibility (the text label can be read by screen readers)
5. International usage
6. Metaphoric understanding
7. Frequency of use (abstract icons that you need once in a while
might benefit from a text label -- more direct than a tooltip)
8. The abstractness of your icons

Chauncey

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 9:28 AM, Chris Whelan <ccwhela at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I found myself in a bit of a debate over the use of
> icons, and would like to be able to cite empirical
> data. Unfortunately I haven't located much
> literature. Can anyone refer me to research that
> compares icons with text buttons?
>
>
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> Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
> http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
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