Department - Author 1

Graphic Communication Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Graphic Communication



Primary Advisor

Penny Bennett


The purpose of this study was to determine optimal user interface design practices for differing age demographics and mobile operating systems. Specifically, users at three different age groups were administered a test to gauge their preference of mobile app icons. The style of the first set of icons, commonly known as flat design, was minimal and simple, with few colors, bevels or gradients. The second style of icons was a more realistic and detailed style known as skeuomorphic design. Users selected the preferred icons, and then took a brief survey to gauge their opinion. After the data was collected, it was analyzed to screen for trends among the users’ ages and mobile operating system. The results have helped identify the importance of age consideration when developing mobile applications for particular audiences. It was found that at 27 to 45 years of age, users tend to strongly prefer a flat design approach to mobile application icons with a strong majority of 65% choosing flat design over skeuomorphic design. A significant 68% of users with Google Android phones preferred flat design as well.