The effect of pictogram-based interface design on human-computer performance
Abbreviated Journal Title
Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Interact.
METAPHOR; SYSTEMS; Computer Science, Cybernetics; Ergonomics
Metaphors are commonly used in human-computer interface design. These metaphoric designs, however, often do not extend beyond the surface-level interface. It stands to reason that a more valid test of the benefits of such context-based designs would be derived from an analysis of metaphors that more closely approximate human-environment interaction. In this study, the influence of pictogram-based versus symbolic interface designs on human-computer performance was empirically evaluated. First, a Goals, Operators, Methods, Selection rules analysis was performed to determine how closely each of the designs assimilated the actual procedures an individual would use in real life. As expected, the symbolic design was found to break from the analogy at an earlier stage than the pictogram-based design, thus providing impetus for empirical testing. Novice and expert participants were given a set of computer-based tasks to perform using both designs. Dependent variables were performance time, total number of steps to task completion, and subjective reports of workload. The performance results indicated that the novices significantly benefited from the use of the pictogram-based design in terms of performance time and efficiency. In addition, the performance of experts was significantly more efficient while using the pictogram-based design. These results provide empirical evidence to support the current trend in pictorial human-computer interface designs.
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
"The effect of pictogram-based interface design on human-computer performance" (1997). Faculty Bibliography 1990s. 2015.