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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-065
Date: September 2004

In-Vehicle Display Icons and Other Information Elements: Volume I

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Research and Development
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
U.S. Department of Transportation  
6300 Georgetown Pike
Federal Highway Administration
McLean, Virginia  22101-2296

FOREWORD

This is one of a series of reports produced as part of a contract to develop precise and detailed human factors design guidelines for in-vehicle display icons and other information elements. The contractual effort consists of three phases: analytical, empirical, and integrative.

This report is a product of the integrative phase. This handbook summarizes human engineering data, guidelines, and principles for use by designers during the development and evaluation of in-vehicle icons and other information elements.

Copies of this report may be obtained through the Research and Technology Report Center, 9701 Philadelphia Court, Unit Q, Lanham, MD 20706; telephone: 301-577-0818; fax: 301-577-1421; or the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161; telephone: 703-487-4650; fax: 703-321-8547.

Michael Trentecoste
Director
Office of Safety Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration

NOTICE

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange.  The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.  This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.  Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein only because they are considered essential to the objective of this document.

QUALITY ASSURANCE STATEMENT

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and process to ensure continuous quality improvement.


Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
FHWA-RD-03-06503-065

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle
 In-Vehicle Display Icons and Other Information Elements: Volume I: Guidelines

5. Report Date
September 2004

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)
Campbell, J.L., Richman, J.B., Carney, C., and Lee, J.D.

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Battelle Human Factors Transportation Center
4500 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH61-97-C-00061

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Safety and Traffic Opeations Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA  22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Integrative Report
8/15/99 - 6/17/2002

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR): Thomas M. Granda

16. Abstract

Because of the speed with which, In-Vehicle Information System (IVIS) devices are entering the automotive marketplace, many research issues associated with the design of in-vehicle visual symbols and other information elements have not been adequately addressed. The overall goal of the "In-Vehicle Display Icons and Other Information Elements" project has been to provide the designers of these in-vehicle technologies with a set of design guidelines for in-vehicle display icons and other information elements. Specific objectives of this project were to:

  • Design and perform experimentation to select appropriate symbols for in-vehicle use, then analyze the resulting data to write final guidelines for in-vehicle sysmbols usage encompassing both current and future symbols.

  • Write preliminary, as well as empirically based, final guidelines.

The key product of this project is a set of clear, concise, and user-centered human factors design guidelines for in-vehicle icon design. The guidelines address issues such as the legibility, recognition, interpretation, and evaluation of graphical and text-based icons and symbols. These guidelines provide IVIS developers with key information regarding the use and integration of existing and new visual symbols. In addition, the Icon IDEA software tool developed in this project has provided a real-time icon development and evaluation tool that, to-date, is receiving consistently positive reviews from the project's working group members. This tool is entirely functional and ready to use, and should prove to be an invaluable aid and resource for icon design.

17. Key Words
Human Factors, Driver Information, Design Guidelines, Icon Design, Visual Symbols, Icon Interpretation, Icon Legibility, Auditory Messages, General vs. Specific Icons, Icon Recognition, Icon Evaluation

18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions.  This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification (of this report)
NONE

20. Security Classification (of this page)
NONE

21. No. of Pages
238

22. Price

Form DOT F1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized


TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: HOW TO USE THESE DESIGN GUIDELINES

  1. Introduction
  2. The Two-Page Format
  3. The Left-Hand Page
    1. Introduction
    2. Design Guideline
    3. The Rating System
    4. Figure, Table, or Graphic
  4. The Right-Hand Page
    1. Discussion
    2. Design Issues
    3. Cross References
    4. References
  5. Other Features

CHAPTER 2: GENERAL ISSUES IN ICON DESIGN

  1. General Development Process for In-Vehicle Icons
  2. When to Use Icons
  3. Ways to Use Icons
  4. Types of Visual Icons
  5. Composition of an Icon
  6. Sequence of Icon Comprehension

CHAPTER 3: ICON LEGIBILITY

  1. Determining the Appropriate Luminance Uniformity within an Icon
  2. Determining the Appropriate Contrast within an Icon
  3. Determining the Appropriate Size of Icon Components
  4. Designing Effective Text Labels
  5. The Effects of Color on Icon Legibility

CHAPTER 4: ICON RECOGNITION

  1. Level of Realism 4-2
  2. Level of Detail 4-4
  3. Perceptual Principles of Icon Design 4-6
  4. Flash Rate 4-8
  5. Design of Prohibition Symbols 4-10
  6. Driver Acceptance of General versus Specific Icons

CHAPTER 5: ICON INTERPRETATION

  1. Enhancing Icon Interpretation with Text Labels
  2. Composition of Text Labels
  3. Conveying the Effect of Actions with Icons
  4. Identifying Icons as Part of a Group
  5. Conveying System Status with Icons
  6. Enhancing Icon Interpretation with Color
  7. Conveying Urgency with Icons

CHAPTER 6: THE AUDITORY PRESENTATION OF IN-VEHICLE INFORMATION

  1. Augmenting Icons with Auditory Information
  2. Determining the Appropriate Auditory Signal
  3. Design of Simple Tones
  4. Design of Complex Tones
  5. Design of Earcons
  6. Design of Auditory Icons
  7. Design of Speech Messages
  8. Perceived Urgency of Auditory Signals
  9. General Design Guidelines for Automatic Speech Recognition Systems
  10. Timing of Auditory Navigation Information
  11. Perceived Annoyance of Auditory Signals

CHAPTER 7: EVALUATING IN-VEHICLE ICONS

  1. Overview of General Procedures for Evaluating In-Vehicle Icons
  2. Production Test
  3. Appropriateness Ranking Test
  4. Comprehension/Recognition Test
  5. Matching Test
  6. Additional Symbol Evaluation Approaches

CHAPTER 8: ICON COLLECTION

  1. Augmented Signage
  2. Automated/Adaptive Cruise Control Devices
  3. Collision Avoidance Information
  4. Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) Information
  5. General Navigation System Information
  6. Motorist Services Information
  7. Routing and Navigation
  8. Safety and Warning Information

CHAPTER 9:TUTORIALS

  1. Tutorial 1: Analysis of Rank Order Data
  2. Tutorial 2: Providing Subjects with Context During Icon Evaluations

CHAPTER 10: SENSORY MODALITY DESIGN TOOL

CHAPTER 11: LIST OF EQUATIONS

CHAPTER 12: GLOSSARY

CHAPTER 13: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

CHAPTER 14: REFERENCES

CHAPTER 15: RELEVANT U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, SOCIETY OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERS, AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION DOCUMENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

CHAPTER 1

Figure 1-1. Format Used in the Preliminary Design Guidelines

CHAPTER 2

  1. Figure 2-1. General Development Process for In-Vehicle Icons
  2. Figure 2-2. Examples of the Appropriate Use of Icons
  3. Figure 2-3. Information Processing Elements Used to Identify Icon Requirements
  4. Figure 2-4. Types of Icons
  5. Figure 2-5. Key Components of an Icon
  6. Figure 2-6. Sequence of Icon Comprehension and Use

CHAPTER 3

  1. Figure 3-1. Measuring Luminance Nonuniformity
  2. Figure 3-2. Example of Measuring Contrast
  3. Figure 3-3. Relationship Between Viewing Distance, Symbol Height, and Visual Angle
  4. Figure 3-4. Schematic Examples of Text Labels
  5. Figure 3-5. Equation for Determining Color Contrast

CHAPTER 4

  1. Figure 4-1. Five Levels of Realism
  2. Figure 4-2. Example of Appropriate Level of Detail
  3. Figure 4-3. Perpetual Principles of Icon Design
  4. Figure 4-4. Schematic Examples of the Appropriate and Inappropriate Use of Flashing Icons
  5. Figure 4-5. Examples of Alternative Methods for Indicating Prohibition
  6. Figure 4-6. Examples of General and Specific Icons for Key In-Vehicle Message Categories

CHAPTER 5

  1. Figure 5-1. Examples of Icons that Benefit from Text Labels
  2. Figure 5-2. Schematic Examples of Conveying Action
  3. Figure 5-3. Schematic Examples of Ways to Identify Icons as Part of a Group
  4. Figure 5-4. Examples of Conveying Status
  5. Figure 5-5. Schematic Examples of the Use of Color in Icons
  6. Figure 5-6. Schematic Examples of Conveying Urgency
  7. Figure 5-7. Locations of Icons Within the Visual Field (Adapted from Reference 2)
  8. Figure 5-8. Schematic Examples of the Use of Shape in Icons

CHAPTER 6

  1. Figure 6-1. Temporal Parameters of Auditory Signals-Pulse, Burst, and Sound Parameters Defined Graphically
  2. Figure 6-2. Brake Reaction Times for Different Warning Sounds (from Reference 2)
  3. Figure 6-3. Example of Using Steven's Power Law for Producing Urgency Exponents
  4. Figure 6-4. Equations for Determining the Appropriate Timing of an Instruction
  5. Figure 6-5. Appropriateness Depends on Perceived Annoyance for Benign Situations (e.g., e-mail notification), Whereas Appropriateness Depends on Perceived Urgency for Highly Critical Situations (e.g., collision avoidance)

CHAPTER 7

  1. Figure 7-1. Overview of Procedures for Evaluating In-Vehicle Icons
  2. Figure 7-2. Production Test
  3. Figure 7-3. Appropriateness Ranking Test
  4. Figure 7-4. Comprehension/Recognition Test
  5. Figure 7-5. Matching Test

CHAPTER 9

  1. Figure 9-1. Sample Icon
  2. Figure 9-2. Motorists Services Icon

CHAPTER 10

  1. Figure 10-1. Sensory Modality Design Tool
  2. Figure 10-2. Steps for Using the Sensory Modality Design Tool
  3. Figure 10-3. Rules for Determining Display Modality

LIST OF TABLES

CHAPTER 3

Table 3-1. Determining the Appropriate Size of Icon Components

CHAPTER 5

Table 5-1. Examples of Text Label Composition

CHAPTER 6

  1. Table 6-1. Heuristics for Assessing Priority
  2. Table 6-2. Heuristics for Assessing Complexity
  3. Table 6-3. Ratings of Audio Signals for Various Functions
  4. Table 6-4. Advantages and Disadvantages Associated with the Use of Simple Tones
  5. Table 6-5. Three Methods for Constructing Earcons (from Reference 3)
  6. Table 6-6. Determining the Number of Information Units
  7. Table 6-7. Examples of Auditory Messages
  8. Table 6-8. Issues to Consider When Designing ASR Systems
  9. Table 6-9. Sound Characteristics that Increase Urgency, While Having a Modest Effect on Annoyance

CHAPTER 7

Table 7-1. Summary of Additional Symbol Evaluation Approaches

CHAPTER 8

Vehicle Icon Functions

CHAPTER 9

  1. Table 9-1. Samples Data Set: Ranks Assigned to 5 Icons by 10 Judges
  2. Table 9-2. A Composite Ranking of Icons Obtained from Sums of Assigned Ranks
  3. Table 9-3. Mean Rank of Each of the Icons
  4. Table 9-4. Computations for the Choice Score Method
  5. Table 9-5. p-z Conversion Table
  6. Table 9-6. Matrix A
  7. Table 9-7. Matrix B
  8. Table 9-8. Matrix C
  9. Table 9-9. Matrix D
  10. Table 9-10. Matrix E
  11. Table 9-11. Matrix F
  12. Table 9-12. Matrix G
  13. Table 9-13. Step 8: Assigning Interval-Scale Values
  14. Table 9-14. Summary of Methods Discussed for Analyzing Rank Order Data

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