What Do Users Prefer: Concrete or Abstract User Interface?
In a previous study we reported that 71 % of the participants who created a UI for light control used a nonfigurative image of the object expressing an abstract meaning while 29 % used a concrete vision of a lighting fixture to illustrate the on and off functions. For the temperature control group, the breakdown was 52 % abstract and 48 % concrete.
In this follow-up study we first replicated an enhanced version of the previous study with 33 graduate students. Then we expanded the survey to the general population asking them to choose between the two options: Concrete and Abstract. The survey was administrated online and on paper to a population in Silicon Valley, California. The results show a 44 % preference for concrete designs versus 56 % for abstract designs. Thus, overall the abstract design preference was still higher. However, a slight difference was observed among older participants.
KeywordsUI design Paradigms UI designer Mental image
Thank you to all of my students who took part in this exercise.
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