With the development of society, the smart phone for the elderly has been developed rapidly. To improve the design of the smart phone icons for the elderly, a set of experiments were made to study the usability differences between multi-colored icons and monochromatic icons. 8 pairs of icons where a pair of icons was composed of a multi-colored icon and a monochromatic icon with the same function were prepared. These 16 icons whose height are 9.81 mm were placed in random order in the Xiaomi MI 4 smart phone installed with the android system. 24 retired teachers aged from 60–70 of the university were called as participants. They were asked to find the right icon as required and click on it with one of their fingers. For every subjects, there were 6 finding tasks followed by satisfaction questionnaire surveys. Eye movement data and satisfaction questionnaire surveys data were acquired and analyzed to get the results: monochromatic flat icons were easier to recognize and operate than the ones that designed with multi-colors for old people, even though they may have monotonous forms; age 60–65 or 66–70 was not the reason one made an operation mistake; some older people liked multi-colored flat icons more than monochromatic flat icons for their colorful vision experience.


Multi-colored flat icons Monochromatic flat icons Elderly Usability 



We thank the support from the Graduate Student Innovation Project for Common College in Jiangsu Province, China (No. CXLX11-0566).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina

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