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A systematic literature review of semiotics perception in user interfaces

Muhammad Nazrul Islam (Turku Centre for Computer Science (TUCS), Department of Information Technologies, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 15 March 2013




The underlying objective of this literature review was to investigate what kinds of semiotics researches have been employed in user interfaces design and usability evaluation, and how were they employed.


This research follows a systematic literature review process that consists of three key stages: planning the review, conducting the review, and reporting the review. Starting with an initial set of about 1,000 research articles, 65 were selected for this review, using an inclusion and exclusion criteria. Qualitative and quantitative data were extracted from the selected literatures following a data extraction strategy in six themes of data extraction. The extracted data were synthesized to formulate the stated research questions to obtain the review goals.


This systematic review identified research strengths, gaps, and challenges. Apart from this, further research possibilities were also explored in this review. For research, the review showed clear needs for more researches to increase both the number and the quality of studies that can be focused on the research gaps identified by this systematic review related to: outcome validation; cultural issues consideration; user interfaces of mobile applications and websites; semiotics perception in usability evaluation; and further improve the value and applicability of research ideas. For practice, the review showed the significance of semeiotics in user interface design and usability evaluation to develop users' intuitive interfaces for boosting the system's usability.


Based on a systematic literature review, the paper not only depicts the current status of semiotics research in user interface design and evaluation, but also provides a number of implications for research and practice. Thus, the review contributes to the scientific community of user interface design and evaluation, as well as suggesting the actual advances in the state of the practice in semiotics research on user interface.



Nazrul Islam, M. (2013), "A systematic literature review of semiotics perception in user interfaces", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 45-77.



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