User Recognition and Preference of App Icon Stylization Design on the Smartphone

  • Chun-Ching ChenEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 529)


At limited area of smartphone display, it is critical that app icon should provide good recognition and user preference. Based on the key components of an icon, this study investigated app icon design across different mobile operating systems (Apple iOS, Google Android and Windows Phone 8, with different icon design principles respectively) to understand recognition performance and user preference of different icon types. In this study, current mobile apps icons collected from app stores were characterized and examined based on different composition of “stylization” (three categories: pictorial illustration, graphic rendering and graphic symbology) and “border shape” (two categories: open and close border). The six different compositions of icons were then implemented functionally on a smartphone to test recognition time, accuracy and subjective opinion. Results show that participants prefer pictorial illustration icons, but have no significant preference on border shape. For the recognition, users perform better time on simplified stylization, but make more errors relatively. Results indicate that open border shape icon is beneficial for recognition. In conclusion, icons designed with open border shape and graphic rendering is better for users’ recognition and preference on the smartphone.


Stylization App icon Graphical user interface 



Special thanks are given to Pei-Chiao Chang for her efforts on coding and conducting the experiments, and funding support from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 103-2420-H-027 -002 -MY2).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Interaction DesignNational Taipei University of TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan

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