Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Concrete or Abstract User Interface?
Human-Computer Interaction: Design and Evaluation (2015)
  • Abbas Moallem, San Jose State University
This study investigates what kind of mental image a design triggers when a user views the user interface and whether that image would be matched with the image of the real object in the user’s mind.

In this study, a standard scenario to design a remote control for lighting and temperature controls was given to 200 students completing an HCI course at graduate and undergraduate levels. The given scenario asked each student to provide a low fidelity prototype of a suggested design within a timeframe of 10 min. These prototypes were then classified and grouped into either concrete or abstract designs.

The results of these investigations show that a majority of participants perceive abstract representations for their design rather than concrete: a depiction of a real light switch to represent turning lights on and off.
  • UI design,
  • Paradigms,
  • UI designer,
  • Mental Image
Publication Date
July 21, 2015
Masaaki Kurosu
Springer International Publishing
Publisher Statement
SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.
Citation Information
Abbas Moallem. "Concrete or Abstract User Interface?" Human-Computer Interaction: Design and Evaluation Vol. 9169 (2015) p. 390 - 395
Available at: