Icon design has a crucial influence on the quality of user experience with digital interfaces. Yet to date, research investigating icon use and processing has been based on existing or outdated sets of icons. Moreover, there are no existing guidelines about how new icons, with specific aesthetic characteristics, can be created.
Manipulated characteristics can have independent effects on icon perception and icon function understanding.
Iconic sets new grounds for understanding icon design and perception. During the project, EPFL+ECAL Lab joined forces with psychology researchers from the University of Fribourg and Bournemouth University to create eight unique sets of icons that respond to three defined and controlled characteristics: concreteness vs abstractness, simplicity vs complexity and appeal vs ugliness. The resulting 64 icons were then evaluated by participants on their function, aesthetics, complexity and concreteness. Not only did the results generate new knowledge to show that characteristics can be independently manipulated, they also informed guidelines for designing icons for research purposes.
Graphic Design Lead
Graphic & Interaction Design
Dr Andreas Sonderegger with assistance of Stanislav Riss
Pr Sinè McDougall
Dr Irene Reppa