Pilot stereotypes for navigation symbols on electronic displays

Pilot stereotypes for navigation symbols on electronic displays

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    NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Human Factors ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Human Factors ;
  • Abstract:
    There is currently no common symbology standard for the electronic display of navigation information. The wide range of display technologies and the different functions these displays support make it difficult to design symbols that are easily recognized across platforms. This paper presents the findings of an experiment that addressed the issue of symbol stereotypes, i.e., whether symbols have key features that are necessary for recognition. Pilots were shown symbols for navigation aids collected from five aviation display manufacturers and published documents. They were asked to indicate whether they considered the symbol shapes to be representative of a specific symbol type. The results showed that pilots do have stereotypes regarding what symbol shapes are representative of a symbol type. Stereotypical shapes for navigation symbols were identified despite variations in the size, color, and fill with which the test symbol shapes were presented. The results suggest that symbol stereotypes exist and should be considered in the design of electronic symbols to maintain safety. While the scope of this work addresses electronic navigation symbology, the techniques used here are applicable to addressing other types of symbology.
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