Disambiguation and Credits


Information: In the context of this text , “information” refers exclusively to visual information, which is created in a willful act and is shaped to support activities of perceiving persons.

Efficiency: In this context, “efficiency” is describing the degree to which the graphical design of visual information (on micro and macro level) is able to support a persons tasks.

How does it work?

Glancing: Visual search for unspecific (any) clues for information.

Scanning: Visual sweeping intended to find specific recognizable clues for information.

Conspicuity: is defined as the extent to which the object, when viewed peripherally, is visually masked by its embedding surroundings. 1)

Discriminability: Details of information elements can be clearly visually separated (discerned) from a distance.

Legibility: The ease with which a displayed message can be seen or discerned. 2)

SGD Design

Information object: A graphical composition, physically applied in the setting it was conceived for.

School Bus (Stop) Sign (SSBS) 3)

UN recommendation 4)

White space: refers to space not occupied by graphical figures (which are considered to be “black space”), regardless of the actual colour figures and background have.

Recall: To remember something in it’s absence 2)

Information overload: “Information overload occurs when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity. Decision makers have fairly limited cognitive processing capacity. Consequently, when information overload occurs, it is likely that a reduction in decision quality will occur.” 5)

SOMS/In-Safety 6)

MOA Math

Danish technical handbook for VMS 7)

Referent: a graphical component usually on the complexity level of a pictogram, symbol, word or phrase, which represents a meaning (message) in itself.


Conspicuity index 8)

Recognition: To remember something in it’s presence 2)


  1. Alexander Wertheim (2006)
  2. Arthur & Passini (1992) Wayfinding – Peolple, Signs and Architecture. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
  3. Egger, S. (2011) Surrounding traffic info and warning visual and audio signs, Safeway2school D5.5. Wien: IIID
  4. Consolidated resolution on Road Traffic (R.E.1). Annex 1, Recommendation 2.2. (United Nations, Economic Commission for Europe, Inland Transport Committee, 1998)
  5. Speier, Cheri; Valacich, Joseph. Vessey, Iris (1999). “The Influence of Task Interruption on Individual Decision Making: An Information Overload Perspective”. Decision Sciences 30
  6. Simlinger S. et al (2008) Proposal on unified pictograms, keywords, bilingual verbal messages and typefaces for VMS in the Tern, SOMS/In-Safety D2.3. Wien: IIID
  7. PowerPoint presentation, made available by Kenneth Kjemtrup (no year) Vejstandardafdelingen, Vejdirektoratet, Copenhagen, DK
  8. Wertheim A H (1989). A quantitative conspicuity index: theoretical foundation and experimental validation of a measurement procedure. Report C-20 (in Dutch). TNO Human Factors Research Institute, Soesterberg, The Netherlands

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