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ERIC Number: EJ946817
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0144-929X
Age-Related Differences in the Initial Usability of Mobile Device Icons
Leung, Rock; McGrenere, Joanna; Graf, Peter
Behaviour & Information Technology, v30 n5 p629-642 2011
Mobile devices offer much potential to support older adults (age 65+). However, older adults have been relatively slow to adopt mobile devices. Although much ongoing HCI research has examined usability problems to address this issue, little work has looked at whether existing graphical icons are harder to use for this population compared with younger adults. We conducted a qualitative exploratory study and a follow-up experimental study to determine which icon characteristics help initial icon usability for older adults. We found that our older participants did have more problems using existing mobile device icons, but that particular icon characteristics--semantically close meaning (i.e. natural, close link between depicted objects and associated function), familiar, labelled and concrete (i.e. those depicting real-world objects)--improved icon usability for them. We discuss how these findings can help icon designers to create mobile device icons that are more suited to the abilities and technology experience of older adults. (Contains 8 figures and 3 tables.)
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A