Style Requirements

Alert Icon - Symbol Selection Worksheet

Please DO NOT select icons without doing your homework FIRST!
Begin the symbol selection process with the Alert Icon - Symbol Selection Worksheet (MS Excel) prior to selecting that actual icons to use.

Step 1

Defining the States/Conditions or Access to a Product or Service

Use the Alert Icon - Symbol Selection Worksheet to assist with brainstorming sessions where the states of a product are being defined by the application developer/owner. The purpose of the worksheet is to help guide the thought process of defining the states/conditions or Access to a product or service FROM THE USER'S PERSPECTIVE.

Note: The purpose of the Alert Icon - Symbol Selection Process is to facilitate the consistent use of symbols that assist with alerting or informing users of the state/condition of a campus Web application or product (e.g. a course) or of their ability to access a product or service. The symbols are intended primarily for use in My Cal Poly portal applications though other uses may fit.

How to use the Worksheet

  1. Define who the end-user of the application, product, or service is (e.g. developers, support personnel, users trying to access a service). When thinking about the end-user definition, keep system state messages ("system is up or down, etc.") separate from user interaction messages ("user access is enabled/disabled, etc."). Mixing these messages for any single product will confuse users.
  2. Itemize the message states (system state or user interaction) of an application, product, or service while comparing the General / Meaning Application description on the left with the end-user definition. Again, be aware that if you combine system state messages with user interaction messages within the same product, it will send mixed and confusing signals to end-users.
  3. Take some extra time to compare your itemized message states with the General Application / Meaning description and the End-user Definition to verify that the correlation is a best fit.
  4. Proceed with Step 2 - take the association of the Outer Shape and the itemized states to the Alert Icon - Symbol Selection Matrix to determine the Inner Shape and the Color of each symbol.

For assistance, contact Steve Rutland of ITS/USS Technology and Learning Services, 756-5542

Message Symbol Selection Matrix and symbol selection process and concept conceived and developed by Steve Rutland, Campus Web Coordinator, ITS with artistic assistance provided by Christopher Lee, Student Assistant, Art and Design Major. Copyright ©, Cal Poly, 2004