Towards a better understanding of mental models implied in sonic icon design and perception
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This paper presents our ongoing efforts to determine if there are shared references, i.e. mental models, across designers and potential users of sonic icons in mobile applications. First, 13 sound designer students had to conceive sonic icons regarding 11 common mobile functionalities. Their conceptual models were analyzed through lexical analyses of their self-report on their design and manual annotations of their renderings. Second, the 143 obtained icons were evaluated by 52 naïve listeners through a free categorization task. While deeper analyses are still required, results already indicate that some function/sonic icon links make strong consensus on how they should be realized, considering both the designers' productions and the listeners' clustering. This forms one key result of the study and could lead to useful guidelines in sonic icon design.