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Post date: Tue, 04/07/2015 - 21:08

The Workbench was first released in 1985 by Commodore International for their Amiga computer product line. True to its name it broke away from the desktop metaphor and replaced it with the workbench metaphor. 

Post date: Wed, 12/23/2015 - 21:24

According to Charles Sanders Peirce all signs can be classified into icons, symbols and indexes based on the signs relation to the referent. In this system an icon is limited to a representation that resembles its object. An index carries an actual connection to its object, such as a sign of a telephone on the door of a phone booth. A symbol in contrast has no visual connection to its object. It is an abstract sign that can only be understood through learning its meaning. (Rayan & Hubner, 2006)

Post date: Sun, 11/09/2014 - 22:18

The Apple Lisa was released in 1983. Its interface was greatly influenced by the Xerox Alto. Steve Jobs and the Lisa team were given two demonstrations of the Alto, after which they implemented the Lisa's interface.

Post date: Fri, 11/28/2014 - 20:29

The Apple Macintosh 1.0 was released in 1984, and it was partially based on the Apple Lisa. Steve Jobs joined the Macintosh team after he was forced out of the Lisa project.

Post date: Sun, 07/29/2018 - 21:36

Various attempts have been made at creating a classification for user interface icons, with some focusing on their pictorial presentation, and others on the signs’ relation to their intended meaning. This paper provides a review of the existing classification systems, and discusses their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this review, we then propose an alternative practical approach to icon classification, which is aimed towards designers of user interface icons rather than the research community, and evaluate its usability based on data gathered from two online surveys.

Post date: Thu, 04/02/2015 - 20:51

Released in 1985 the Atari TOS was an operating system for Atari ST computers. Like the contemporary Apple systems, it was based on the desktop metaphor which had already become a standard.

Post date: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 20:45

In semiotics the meaning of the term icon is limited to a representation that resembles its object. The other two phenomenological categories of signs are index and symbol.

Post date: Tue, 05/03/2016 - 20:48

In an article that was published in Byte magazine, Smith et al. (1982) describe the Xerox Star system and how its interface was designed.

Post date: Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:23

Graphical interfaces emerged long before digital devices and even before the devices became electric. Early examples can be traced back to the 19th century.

Post date: Tue, 04/07/2015 - 21:23

The GEOS (Graphic Environment Operating System) was a third party GUI designed for the Commodore 64 computer by Berkeley Softworks released in 1986. 

Post date: Mon, 11/06/2017 - 22:46

Marcus' book from the ACM tutorial series is a compilation of practical guidelines for the design of digital user interfaces. Published already in 1992, it partly contains advice that are not relevant today, but it also contains general design instructions that are not restricted to time. Parts of it also concern the design of interface icons.

Post date: Sat, 12/06/2014 - 08:02

This is a list of the books and research papers that I've used as a reference along with a brief summary of their content.

Post date: Sun, 03/22/2015 - 20:51

Per Mollerup's book Marks of Excellence thoroughly studies trademarks, their design, functions and history. The function of trademarks is of course different than that of icons, but there are many similarities in the aspects of their design. Mollerup has also created a complete taxonomy system for trademarks.

Post date: Tue, 04/07/2015 - 21:38

NeXTSTEP is a GUI developed by NeXT computer for Unix based systems that was first released in 1989. NeXTSTEP later (1994) led to the development of OPENSTEP through a collaboration with Sun Microsystems. 

Post date: Tue, 10/11/2016 - 21:49

As the title says, the book covers much more than just icons. The top level term being pictorial signs, which is to encompass both icons and pictograms.

Post date: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 22:02

Barthes' very compact summary, of what he thinks as the key elements of semiology, is often considered as one of the fundamental writings about semiotic theory. In this equally compact article, I try to summarise how it can be relevant for the research of interface icons.

Post date: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 21:35

True to its name the Symbol Sourcebook is an extensive collection of symbols from different fields of life, science and industries.

Post date: Sun, 02/01/2015 - 15:43

In the book Universal Principles of Design, William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler cover 125 design concepts that apply to a variety of different disciplines including graphic and user-interface design. This is a summary of the concepts that can be directly applied to icon design and research.

Post date: Mon, 11/10/2014 - 20:49

This is a summary of the research project for which I have set up this website.

The purpose of the research is to explore different taxonomies of icons used in interfaces and to discover what type of thought processes users facilitate while trying to understand the meanings of icons and interface metaphors. 

Post date: Wed, 12/10/2014 - 20:47

Jayson M. Webb, Paul F. Sorenson and Nic P. Lyons wrote an article about potential ways for evaluating icons in 1989. The article was titled "An empirical approach to the evaluation of icons" and it was published in the SIGHCI Bulletin in July 1989. 

Post date: Sun, 02/08/2015 - 14:35

The first version of Windows was released in 1985. It ran on top of a MS-DOS installation and provided a graphical interface that was used with a mouse.

Post date: Wed, 11/05/2014 - 18:42

The Xerox Alto released in 1973 was the first computer that had a graphical user interface. It came with a mouse, bit-map graphics, menus and icons.

Post date: Sat, 11/08/2014 - 15:23

The Xerox Star followed the Alto in 1981. The Star continued the interface style of the Alto and took it a step further. The 72 pixel wide icons had different states when clicked, which were indicated by a change of colour and functioned as feedback to the user. 

Post date: Sun, 03/06/2016 - 21:10

Icons at the interface: their usefulness by Yvonne Rogers (1989) is one of the earliest studies on the taxonomy of interface icons. Through her research, Rogers hopes to discover primitive syntax and semantics for icons, which could be used as a basis for designing a set of icons for a given application. This is a summary of some of the main points of the paper.

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