Restrictive Guidelines


  • Use simple, clear images (Levie & Lentz, 1982; Marcus, 1992; Rivlin, Lewis, Davies-Copper, 1990; Thompson, 1994). Simple images are more effective for instruction than complex images. Don’t use images with too much detail at a small scale as this can be lost on screen.
  • Use graphical images for instructional, motivational, or attention-focusing effects, and not simply for the sake of including them on the screen (Duchastel, 1978, 1983; Levie & Lentz, 1982; Pettersson, 1993; Rieber, 1994; Surber & Leeder, 1988).
  • Make sure all the key components of the graphical images are labeled (Rivlin, Lewis, & Davies-Copper, 1990). Use captions or titles for labeling the key elements of graphical images.
  • Consider the prior knowledge and cultural conventions of the learner in choosing graphical image components (Apple Computer Inc., 1989; Boling, Johnson, & Kirkley, 1994; Easterby, 1970). Avoid sexist, culturally-insensitive, and other potentially offensive imagery. Designers may or may not wish to recognize cultural stereotypes in enhancing the appeal of a program, as recommended by Jakobsdottir, Krey, and Sales (1994), who suggest that including pictures of people, plants, and animals in software will raise its appeal for girls, while including vehicles and machines in action will appeal to boys.

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