Eye Tracking Laboratory

University of Pavia

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L7 - Symbols

Issue Definition

Symbols are used for several purposes. Usually they represent navigation elements (such as links) or shortcuts to supporting tools (for triggering tasks like printing or starting a collaborative work session, or for asking for online help…). Their comprehensibility is a key issue that can greatly affect users learning performance.

Guideline Text

1. Symbols should be visible, identifiable and easily accessible:
1.a Symbols should be clearly distinguishable from other page components;
1.b Symbols should be placed in fixed positions within the pages;
1.c Symbols colour should be in contrast to the page background colour.

2. Links should be effective and meaningful:
2.a Symbols should be clear and self-explanatory;
2.b Symbols should contain or be accompanied by appropriate captions;
2.c The accompanying caption should be readable and easily comprehensible;
2.d The size of a Symbol should be appropriate in order to make it visible and easily accessible, but should not cause visualisation problem when dealing with resizable pages (depending on course delivery device).

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