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A multiple index approach for the evaluation of pictograms and icons

: Bocker, M.


Computer Standards and Interfaces 18 (1996), No.2, pp.107-15
ISSN: 0920-5489
Journal Article
Fraunhofer HHI ()
graphical user interfaces; human factors; telecommunication standards; multiple index approach; pictograms; icons; computer interface; performance parameters; aesthetic parameters

Pictograms and icons that are not easily recognised by the users run the risk of being under-used or even superfluous. Well-designed pictograms allow the user to recognise the represented functions of a device (e.g. of a computer interface) without the need of extra instruction. It is argued that it is imperative that pictograms be empirically tested in order to establish whether the user does indeed associate the appropriate referent. A number of pictogram evaluation methods are available with some of them being restricted to certain applications only and others having considerable methodological drawbacks. The multiple index approach for the evaluation of pictograms is presented which has been developed by the Technical Committee Human Factors of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). It focuses on both correct associations and errors and takes into account aesthetic as well as performance parameters.