Minji Cho, Soyoung Kwon, and Nooree Na presented their work entitled, “The Elders Preference for Skeuomorphism as App Icon Style” on the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2015) in Seoul, Korea. The study describes the value of skeuomorphism as an icon style for the elderly people. The result indicates that a direct metaphoric icon has an advantage to appeal more and to inform more efficiently.
We explored the value of skeuomorphism as an icon style particularly for the elderly people. To identify the proper approach of skeuomorphism we articulated two factors such as degree of realism and level abstraction. We employed “call”, “contact”, and “camera” icons and created eight alternatives, four degrees of realism by two levels of abstraction for each. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 30 Korean elderly and asked about their preference and understandability depending on how the app icons are visualized. A conjoint analysis revealed that the degree of realism is more important for having an aesthetic satisfaction, whereas the abstraction level is more relevant for better understanding the function of an icon. Overall, the degree of realism is positively correlated with both preference and understandability. Moreover a direct metaphoric icon has an advantage to appeal more and to inform more efficiently, particularly for female or novice elderly users.