Kyungah Choi, a Ph.D. candidate of CED Lab published her recent work entitled as, “Optimal Employment of Color Attributes to Achieve Saliency in Icon Matrix Designs” in Color Research & Application(Vol40(5). 429-436). This study tries to determine which colors are the most eye-catching in displays that employ icon matrices and thereby provide empirical grounds for strengthening the visual information structure of interface designs.
With the wide use of smart devices, through which information is presented in vast quantities, objective guidelines are needed to enable designers to choose appropriate colors for information display. The purpose of the present study is to determine which colors are the most eye-catching in displays that employ icon matrices and thereby provide empirical grounds for strengthening the visual information structure of interface designs. Three attributes of color, which include hue, tone, and color combinations, are examined to optimize the color saliency in information displays. An eye-tracking study was conducted to objectively evaluate saliency by analyzing fixations of visual attention. Based on the hue-saturation-brightness color system, a 5-by-5 matrix of 25 color patches was adopted to generate 21 color stimuli. Part I of the study focused on hue and indicated that warm colors are perceptually more eye-catching relative to cool and neutral colors. Part II of the study investigated tonal influences and revealed that highly saturated colors provoked the greatest visual magnetism against a black background across all hue groups, although there was an alternative tendency for a blue hue. Contrary to expectations, no distinctive patterns were observed among brightness groups. With regard to color combination, Part III of the study provided empirical verification that high contrast between a foreground and a background generates a more dominant conspicuity. The results of the present study can be applied in designing electronic interfaces that display icon matrices to create effective communication by guiding visual attention and increasing aesthetic satisfaction.