The Relation of Visual-Digital Literacy in User Interaction with Mobile Devices

  • Patrícia CarrionEmail author
  • Manuela Quaresma
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 827)


The rapid pace of technological innovation highlights the issues of users’ relation with the digital sphere, and, in regards to graphical interfaces, shows the existence of a Visual-Digital Literacy. This paper proposes as an overall intention to investigate the impact of Visual Literacy in users’ access to smartphones. To that effect, we hypothesize that a limited visual repertoire is a direct cause of users’ deficiency in Digital Literacy skills. We defined two evaluation techniques: an Iconographic Comprehension Test and an experiment. The convergence of both sought to answer the following research question: how does Visual Literacy relate to users’ digital proficiency? First, we applied the Comprehension Test to detect the proper understanding of symbols, i.e., to measure users’ ability to interpret visual elements. The test proposed the classification of 48 subjects, ranging from 18 to 65 years old, in two extremes of Visual Literacy. Afterward, using extreme case sampling, we recruited 12 of said subjects to our experiment, seeking to assess the impact that Visual Literacy has on Digital Literacy, while users performed tasks on a smartphone. We used three methods of qualitative and quantitative data analysis to measure users’ performance: Student’s t-test and Pearson Correlation Coefficient, followed by Retrospective Think Aloud (RTA) protocol. The results showed that Visual Literacy does influence users’ performance in the interaction with devices, proving that Digital Literacy relates to people’s visual repertoires.


Digital Literacy Visual Literacy Human-Computer Interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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