Investigating Factors Affecting on the Users\' Mental Models of Icons in Digital Library Software

Iranian Journal of Information Processing & Management. 2018;33(2):489-516


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Iranian Journal of Information Processing & Management

ISSN: 2251-8223 (Print); 2251-8231 (Online)

Publisher: Iranian Research Institute for Information and Technology

LCC Subject Category: Bibliography. Library science. Information resources

Country of publisher: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Language of fulltext: Persian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Sanaz Rahrovani ( Shiraz University )
Mahdieh Mirzabeigi ( Shiraz University )
Javad Abbaspour ( Shiraz University )


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Perception of icons is one of the most important elements of graphical user interface in information systems that is affected by personal and environmental factors, including users' mental models. The present study tended to investigate factors affecting on the users' mental models of icons in digital library software. This is an applied research using qualitive and quantitive approach. Gathering data tool in quantitive section is researcher-made questionnaire and in qualitive section is semi-structured interview. The participants consisted of B.A. and M.A. students of knowledge and information science in Shiraz University and Shiraz University of Medical Sciences and Shiraz University librarians, 174 persons. According to the results, " experience", "icons' functions", "external characteristics of icon", and "context" are four main categories affecting on users' mental models of icons. "Experience" includes users' former familiarity and experience and " icons' functions " includes compatibility of icon function with its picture, referring the icon to unknown and uncommon function rather than common function, common function in different applications and special functions of some of icons. " appearance characteristic of icons" includes color, size, clarity, context and complexity of icon. It hasn’t been any research that investigate factors affecting on users' mental models of icons in digital library software. Recognition of factors affecting on users' mental models can help digital library software designers to design the icons that have more consonancy with users’ mental models and eventually provide users satisfaction.