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Does detail matter? The effect of visual detail in line drawings on task execution

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User manuals often include stylized line drawings to enable accurate and efficient task execution. This study reports the results of an empirical test which aimed at answering the question whether the amount of visual detail in such line drawings affects users’ performance. Results indicate that manuals containing illustrations with optimal amount of detail from a graphic designer’s point of view lead to significantly faster task execution compared to illustrations with the amount of detail beyond or below that level. Age was not a factor here, which suggests that optimizing the amount of detail in line drawings supports younger and older users alike.
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Keywords: ageing; illustrations; line drawings; user manuals; user performance; visual detail

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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