The elders preference for skeuomorphism as app icon style

Minji Cho, Soyoung Kwon, Nooree Na, Kun Pyo Lee, Hyeon Jeong Suk

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2015 - Extended Abstracts Publication of the 33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationCrossings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331463
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2015 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 18 Apr 201523 Apr 2015

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2015
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • Elderly
  • Icon design style
  • Skeuomorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Cite this