Preference ranking test for different icon design formats for smart living room and bathroom functions

Chia Fen Chi*, Ratna Sari Dewi, Priska Samali, Dong Yu Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The current study illustrates the icon design process for 20 functions for a smart living room and smart bathroom of a commercial smart building control system. For each function name, seven icon formats (image-related, concept-related, semi-abstract, arbitrary, word, abbreviation, and combined) were developed by 30 graduate students and compared with a preference ranking test by another 13 executive MBA students. The results indicated that the combined, image-related, concept-related, semi-abstract, word, and abbreviation each had nine, four, three, two, one and one function names ranked as the most preferred format, respectively. Since all the design formats except the arbitrary format were ranked as the most preferred at least once, it is worthwhile to generate seven icon formats for a given function and chose the most preferred based on the ranking test result. The participatory design and ranking test evaluation approach can be applied for the design and evaluation of visual icons in other application contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102891
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Function-to-object relationship
  • Icon taxonomy
  • Participatory design


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