Graphic signs are commonly used to provide navigation, warning, regulation and guidance in locations and sectors to which the public has access. Complexity is a design feature that is of central concern in sign research. However, previous studies on the effectiveness of sign complexity have reported mixed results. Thus, the research reported on in this paper was conducted to investigate user preferences on the complexity of sign design in the context of a new practice ― the stereotype production method. Thirty-one Hong Kong Chinese people were invited to show their preferences on graphic public sign designs using this method. For each sign referent, the participants were asked to draw the first pictorial that came to mind as quickly as possible, and then their designs were assessed based on the number of elements constituting the sign. It appeared that both males and females preferred simple sign design involving one or two pictorial elements. In future, to create much more user-friendly graphic signs, the design should be simple, containing only those elements that contribute to understanding. The findings of this study could facilitate communication and media designers to develop better and more usable graphic signs.
|Keywords:||Graphic Sign, Semantic Message, User Preference, Complexity, Stereotype Production Method|
Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Professor, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Chair Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
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