Iconic hyperlinks on e-commerce websites

Hong In Cheng, Patrick E. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The proper use of iconic interfaces reduces system complexity and helps users interact with systems more easily. However, due to carelessness, inadequate research, and the web's relatively short history, the icons used on web sites often are ambiguous. Because non-identifiable icons may convey meanings other than those intended, designers must consider whether icons are easily identifiable when creating web sites. In this study, visual icons used on e-business web sites were examined by population stereotypy and categorized into three groups: identifiable, medium, and vague. Representative icons from each group were tested by comparing selection performance in groups of student volunteers, with identifiable and medium icons improving performance. We found that only easily identifiable icons can reduce complexity and increase system usability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


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