Concrete or Abstract User Interface?
This study investigates what kind of mental image a design triggers when a user views the user interface and whether that image would be matched with the image of the real object in the user’s mind.
In this study, a standard scenario to design a remote control for lighting and temperature controls was given to 200 students completing an HCI course at graduate and undergraduate levels. The given scenario asked each student to provide a low fidelity prototype of a suggested design within a timeframe of 10 min. These prototypes were then classified and grouped into either concrete or abstract designs.
The results of these investigations show that a majority of participants perceive abstract representations for their design rather than concrete: a depiction of a real light switch to represent turning lights on and off.
KeywordsUI design Paradigms UI designer Mental image
Thanks all my students at San Jose State University who took part in this exercise.
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