Title: A comprehensibility study of pictogram elements for manufacturing steps

Authors: Atsuko K. Yamazaki, Hirokazu Taki

Addresses: Faculty of Engineering, Shibaura Institute of Technology, 307 Fukasaku, Minuma-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama, Japan. ' Faculty of Systems Engineering, Wakayama University, 930 Sakaedani, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama, Japan

Abstract: The authors investigated the effectiveness of pictograms in manufacturing settings, where supervisors and workers often do not share the same language or cultural background. Pictograms for manufacturing steps, such as |cut|, |push| and |measure|, were designed. Their comprehensibility was examined by questionnaires and a comprehension experiment. The questionnaires were presented to 73 Japanese and 34 Portuguese-speaking subjects. The experiment was conducted with Japanese subjects and each subject|s response time to the pictograms was measured. The pictograms for procedures performed by a body part induced erroneous responses when they did not include the object of an intended action. On the other hand, the pictograms for procedures using a tool, such as cutting and measuring, tended to be comprehended more correctly and spontaneously. The results indicate that well-designed pictograms for an action combined with the illustration of an object can be used effectively in manufacturing settings, where safety and productivity are critical.

Keywords: pictograms; comprehensibility; manufacturing instructions; non-verbal communication; questionnaire; reaction experiment; Japanese; Portuguese; object illustration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKESDP.2010.030467

International Journal of Knowledge Engineering and Soft Data Paradigms, 2010 Vol.2 No.1, pp.70 - 81

Published online: 17 Dec 2009 *

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