Human-computer interaction : The effect of application domain knowledge on icon visualization

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Journal / PublicationJournal of Computer Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


Iconic interfaces are now the de facto interface for most computer systems. Despite the popularity of iconic interfaces and the widespread belief that iconic interfaces are easier to comprehend than non-iconic interfaces, we have not come across any published study that has examined the effect of application domain knowledge on end users' interpretation of icons. An understanding of the relationship between application domain knowledge and its effect on interpretation will enable us to design better iconic interface to not only facilitate end users' interpretation, but to also reduce the misinterpretations of icons. This paper reports on an experimental study that investigates the effect of application domain knowledge on icons interpretation. The hypotheses for this study are derived from theories in cognitive psychology and are empirically tested in a laboratory experiment. The results indicate that application domain knowledge has no significant effect on the accuracy of interpretation. Application domain knowledge, however, significantly affects the time taken to interpret icons and the confidence level of subjects. The implication of the results on theories and practice are also discussed.

Research Area(s)

  • Application Domain Knowledge, Experimental Study, Human Information-Processing Systems, Iconic Interface, Problem Space

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