Analysis of Comprehensibility and Influencing Factors of Healthcare Symbols

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 796)


With the tide of globalization getting ever higher and stronger, the need grows rapidly to travel aboard in order to obtain better health care. A reasonable and effective wayfinding system formed by graphical symbols becomes especially important for patients in a foreign hospital. The goal of this study is to evaluate the comprehensibility of 26 healthcare symbols according to the testing method specified in ISO 9186-1:2014, and analysis the possible influencing factors. 396 respondents were recruited and paid to participate in the test. All graphical symbol’s comprehensibility result and respondents’ demographic information were analyzed. The test results showed that when developing a new graphical symbol, designers should paid more attention to use different element for different graphical symbols. To explore statistically significant relationships between symbol comprehension and influencing factors, Pearson’s Chi-square tests, logistic regression analysis, and correspondence analysis were conducted. From the test result, 7 out of 26 healthcare graphical symbols have p-values smaller than the significance level 0.05, which show these symbols have significant statistical relationship with age.


Wayfinding system Graphical symbol Comprehensibility test 



This research was supported by National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) Program (2016YFF0201700, 2016YFF0202806).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AQSIQ Key Laboratory of Human Factors and Ergonomics (CNIS)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Research Centre of Way Guidance, China National Institute of StandardizationBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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