Friday, November 13, 2015


Topic: The Effects of Icon Characteristics on Search Time


Presenter: Kara Mick Smythwood


The use of icons is ubiquitous in today’s computing world.  A handful of icon characteristics have been found to be predictors of icon performance. Visual complexity, concreteness, familiarity, and aesthetic value have all been shown to affect performance in searching and locating icons.  We replicated previous studies that examined icon characteristics’ effects on search time but used our own up-to-date icon stimulus set taken from existing mobile application icons.  Our findings verified most previous findings.  The results on icon attractiveness, however, were contrary to findings that the advantage provided by attractiveness is only present when the icon is already difficult to find.  We found the opposite—that simple icons (easy to find) alone were afforded an advantage by also being attractive.  The role of aesthetic appeal in low-level visual processing is discussed.