I've never taken any courses in accessibility, library science, etc., so I can't comment on what may be best for usability (I'll check out the links provided). I think icons play an important role in user recognition, tho. The new GHS rules rely heavily on the pictograms. McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Target and Walmart spend millions on promoting & protecting their icons. Highway signs, in the USA & abroad, rely on pictograms/icons to keep roadways safe.
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 am not a usability expert, but I do know that incorporating usability into your document now will save you many headaches later. Also, if language is an issue, how difficult would it be to create the lab manual in the different languages that are spoken by your user community, Kim?KarenOn Nov 23, 2012, at 7:56 AM, ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM wrote: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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