Symbol development guidelines

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Authors: Nancy Dolan
Lisa Dutra
Michael Snyder
Dan Wagner

Wagner, D., Snyder, M., Dutra, L., & Dolan, N. (1997). Symbol development guidelines (DOT/FAA/CT-TN96/3). Atlantic City International Airport: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


This document presents a general methodology for developing Airway Facilities (AF) symbols and provides guidelines for the coding of visual symbols and auditory signals. Coding refers to the characteristics of a symbol that developers can change to improve its interpretation or message content. These coding guidelines should not be considered exhaustive but rather represent a compilation of the most important items to consider when developing visual or auditory symbols. The decision to use a visual symbol, an auditory signal, or both, will depend on the nature of the displayed information, operational conditions, and users requirements. A list of questions for determining the best coding technique is provided. AF symbols represent facilities, equipment, services, and status information such as alarms and alerts. These guidelines also I provide a systematic methodology for developing symbols that will help in the creation and testing of effective symbols.

Updated: May 04, 2012 11:21 AM