Bending icons: syntactic and semantic transformations of icons

A. Repenning
Proceedings of 1994 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages  
The notion of icons in visual environments is limited by perceiving icons as tacit entities that have meaning only to human beings and not to the machines that display them. This perception leads to visual tools that provide very little support for the creation of related icons representing related concepts. A large number of complex icons can be generated automatically by applying simple syntactic and semantic transformations to more fundamental icons. These transformations can significantly
more » ... duce the laborious work of icon designers and programmers. This paper describes some of the essential icon transformations that have emerged from the experience of 25 designers using the Agentsheets system and creating a total of 500 icons. Abstract the majority of icon-based applications related concepts are represented by related icons. That is, applications typically do not consist of completely orthogonal concepts that need to be represented with radically different icons. Instead, groups of icons often are variations revolving around a common theme and could, in many cases, be created through automatic transformations of icons. These transformations, because they are concerned with the look of icons, are syntactic transformations. 0-8186-6660-9/94 $04.00
doi:10.1109/vl.1994.363605 dblp:conf/vl/Repenning94 fatcat:swtsdqihrjaavnxunnoznvq2em