Hong Kong Chinese and Korean comprehension of American security safety symbols

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-850
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Volume39
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

Abstract

This research evaluated Hong Kong Chinese and Korean comprehension of American security safety symbols, and how successfully they could guess the meaning of the symbols in relation to their ratings of the appropriateness of the design of each of the symbols. Symbol comprehension scores, symbol guessing scores, design appropriateness ratings, and demographic information were obtained for 81 Hong Kong Chinese and 60 Koreans. For all the symbols tested, comprehension scores for the Hong Kong Chinese and Koreans were much lower than for Americans. The finding that Americans were better at interpreting American symbols than Hong Kong Chinese and Koreans indicates that problems are likely to arise if such symbols are used by non-Americans. Gender did not affect guessing performance, and success at guessing symbols was not related to the subjective ratings of design appropriateness for the symbols. The findings here reveal the importance of developing security safety symbols with the end users in mind. Relevance to industry: Designing effective pictorial security safety symbols to cover the many potential situations and scenarios for a specific population is a difficult business. The findings of this study underline the importance of developing security safety symbols with the end users in mind. The results provide useful information to assist in the design of more user-friendly security safety symbols. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Comprehension, Guessability, Hong Kong Chinese, Koreans, Security safety symbols