Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Jan 2013 00:46 UTC, submitted by the_randymon
Graphics, User Interfaces "A statistical analysis shows that icons with less detail score better in terms of usability. It seems to be an easy truth: too much detail in icons confuses the users. So we wondered whether we could find any evidence for this truth in the data of our large scale test of the LibreOffice Icons."
Thread beginning with comment 549113
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
by nbensa on Thu 17th Jan 2013 01:55 UTC
Member since:

Yes, that's what I think of this "study".. ;)

The "study" is, as the comments on the blog page say, flawed and useless. The low-resolution icons are for common functions. The high-resolutions icons are for not so common functions.

Also, there's a low resolution for save, but no high resolution icon for the same function.

You can't make a serious conclusion from this "study".

Reply Score: 6

RE: :-/
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 17th Jan 2013 20:27 in reply to ":-/"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Yeah, as much as I want to believe in the conclusion, there isn't any credible evidence here to support it.

But I love their advice for icons:

Whenever you create icons, try to be as iconic as possible

At first it seems like a great statement showing how the highly detailed icons have violated the most fundamental rule, but it really depends on what you mean by "iconic". Simple things can be iconic, but so can highly detailed things. Like images of people. Mohammad Ali ( the boxer), has several iconic poses and pictures, but I wouldn't want any of them as icons in a software setting.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: :-/
by levi on Fri 18th Jan 2013 18:04 in reply to ":-/"
levi Member since:

This study is an example of sloppy thinking. My guess is that author tried to prove his opinion which was stated in title. Biggest sin though is that this pseudo scientific mumble can intimidate some people and make them think that author proved something.

*What are the criteria for icon classification ? ("amount of detail" is very vague)
*Where is differentiation between representations of simple and complex actions that icons are linked to.
*Where is differentiation between well known icons/actions (like "save - floppy disc") and uncommon (like "quick print - printer with lightning" and "print preview - printer with magnifying glass" - this may not be best example though :-) )

Stay skeptical!

Reply Parent Score: 2