Research on cognition and application of icon complexity based on EEG

Abstract

Icons play an important role in improving the efficiency of information transmission and reducing the user’s cognitive load. Complexity is one of the important cognitive attributes of icons, which affects the semantic cognitive process of icons. The impact of icon complexity on the cognitive was studied by event-related potential (ERP) technology. The ERP experiment applies “target-priming” paradigm, and the experiment materials adopt a mixed design of 3 shape complexity (low, medium, high) × 2 semantic complexity (single semantic, multi-semantic) × 2 semantic matching relationships (match, mismatch). Hypotheses were proposed before the experiment. Based on the analysis of response time, correct rate, ERP waveform characteristics and average amplitude, the hypotheses were discussed. The ERP experiment results show that N400 is more obvious in semantic inconsistencies but has a shorter latency period, which can be used as an objective evaluation basis for icon cognition; both shape complexity and semantic complexity have significant effect on semantic cognition; icons with more complex shapes and less complex semantics are more efficient in cognition. According to the experimental conclusion, influence factors of icon shape complexity are summarized from several calculation models of shape complexity, the ways to improve icon shape complexity are analyzed, and a method is proposed for icons optimization design by improving the complexity of icon shapes. The method is applied in an example, the improvement of complexity and the optimization of icon design scheme are verified by questionnaires, and the result shows that the method is effective.

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Funding

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Fund of China (No. 62002321), and Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No.Y18E050014).

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Correspondence to Cheng Yang.

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Yang, C., Peng, Y. & Zeng, J. Research on cognition and application of icon complexity based on EEG. CCF Trans. Pervasive Comp. Interact. 3, 170–185 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42486-021-00058-2

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Keywords

  • Icon complexity
  • Semantic cognition
  • Event-related potential (ERP)
  • Icon design