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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Icons have been popularized by modern Graphical User Interface (GUI) software, however, an individual's use and reaction to icons varies. Our purpose was to demonstrate that a computerized recall and recognition survey of icons could produce measurable results that could be used to better design and choose icons for common microcomputer applications. Icons with better recognition would also aid in student learning of common software tools. For this pilot survey, 125 MIS students viewed a projected five-minute computerized VGA slide show in a darkened classroom. Looking at a sequence of 30 colored screens shown for only 10 seconds each, they indicated their preferences for and their ability to discriminate, recall, and recognize 48 icons. The results indicated individuals can make icon choices quickly, certainly have icon preferences, and can recognize icons that they saw for only 10 seconds. Computerized projected surveys can provide preferences and measurable performance (number correct per time period) for icons, trademarks, logos, and signals much quicker than a series of individual trials or surveys.

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