Yes, I agree Monona. Graphics are OK if labeled properly. I should have stated that more clearly. Effective labeling of graphics are an important aspect of incorporating usability into a design. It was mentioned in the paper I cited. This blog entry illustrates your point as well : http://www.takadesigns.com/blog/2012/05/07/usability-when-icons-fail/.
I've also read papers and seen personally that people don't read written labels either. So I think a GHS combination of icons and precisely dictated label wording is a good solution. As good as it gets, anyway.
In a message dated 11/22/2012 11:08:56 AM Eastern Standard Time, kls_1**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET writes:
Kim,I would caution against icons. When I was a graduate student in library school, I took a class in usability. We discussed the drawbacks of using icons because users interpret them differently. This would probably be a problem you might encounter since you are dealing with a user population that has diverse cultures. If the lab manual is going to be completely digital, then I suggest you consider creating a website for it and using the fundamental principles of usability as you go along (http://www.usability.gov/). Here is a website that was developed with such principles: http://lib.asu.edu/ . We read a paper about its development in class. As you can see, the use of icons is minimal, while text is prominent throughout.
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