Results of KMail Icon Test #2

The 2nd KMail icon test with almost 2000 participants revealed that most icons are working well, but there still is room for improvement for some.

Today I closed the 2nd KMail icon test. This time 1945 people took part. Much less people than the last time, but also the drop-out was much less than last time.

So here are some basic statistics:

  • Selected language: English: 1002, German: 476, Spanish: 334, Italian: 76, Polish: 57
  • Gender: Male: 99%, Female: 1%
  • Average Age: 28,6 years (from 11 to 93)
  • Most of the participants are strong KDE users. More than 80% use KDE very frequently. Next is Windows (TM) with more than 25% of frequent users, GNome with about 10% and Mac OS (TM) with about 7%.
  • The participants are almost half split in their use of KMail, more than 50% use KMail frequently and about 30% say they never use KMail (the rest in somewhere in between).

In this test we included the icons of two elements of KMail: The icons used in the window and in the message menu of the composer window. These are icons of different size in the standard configuration of KDE, so we presented the icons in the according size and used the KUbuntu translations of the terms associated with them. The overall findings are very good. Most icon-term-relations seem to work out fine. We did not find find any explicitly not working relations, but some still show the potential for improvement.

Icon-Term relations working really well

The following icon-term relations seem to work well. You have to consider that users had to pick from only 8 choices this time, so it was much easier to exclude all the less fitting icons to find the one to choose. But the data of none of the following icons showed any evidence for this.

Best Icon

Rating

Term

mail-queue

10,0

Send Later (message menu)

document-print

10,0

Print (message menu)

dialog-close

10,0

Close (message menu)

mail-attachment

10,0

Attach File (Composer)

edit-cut

10,0

Cut (Composer)

document-decrypt

9,8

Encrypt Message (Composer)

document-sign

9,8

Sign Message (Composer)

edit-copy

9,0

Copy (Composer)

window-new

9,0

New Main Window (message menu)

edit-paste

9,0

Paste (Composer)

mail-queue1

9,0

Send Later Via (Composer)

document-save

8,6

Save as Draft (message menu)

Note that the icons for “cut” and “copy” were quite often mixed up

Icon-Term relations with some room for improvements

For the following term the icons could be improved. There was quite a high missing value for these icons and the icons got associated with some of the other terms. Also the time people took to spot these icons was quite high, which shows that people just chose the best of the not-so-well-fitting icons, not a convincing icon.

Best Icon

Rating

Term

mail-send

8,0

Send Mail (message menu)

mail-send

7,8

Send Mail Via (Composer)

mail-message-new

7,4

New Composer (message menu)

document-open

6,8

Insert File… (message menu)

It is interesting to see that the stamp does not work out well for “sending mails”.

Some closing notes…

We are still looking for people to help to translate the test into different languages. Also people wanting to help setting up these icon tests are warmly welcome, as my time is very limited and I do not get to publish new tests and the results as often as I would like to… And of course anyone interested in investigating the results in greater depth is warmly welcome. Just drop me a mail…