Commenced in January 2007
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Study of Icons in Enterprise Application Software Context

Authors: Shiva Subhedar, Abhishek Jain, Shivin Mittal


Icons are not merely decorative elements in enterprise applications but very often used because of their many advantages such as compactness, visual appeal, etc. Despite these potential advantages, icons often cause usability problems when they are designed without consideration for their many potential downsides. The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of articulatory distance – the distance between the physical appearance of an interface element and what it actually means. In other words, will the subject find the association of the function and its appearance on the interface natural or is the icon difficult for them to associate with its function. We have calculated response time and quality of identification by varying icon concreteness, the context of usage and subject experience in the enterprise context. The subjects were asked to associate icons (prepared for study purpose) with given function options in context and out of context mode. Response time and their selection were recorded for analysis.

Keywords: HCI, icons, icon concreteness, icon recognition

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