With the assembly task presented as a series of images, the user needs to be able to identify the sequence in which the images are to be followed.


How to present the images so the user understands the sequence the images are to be interpreted.


  • Images are not viewed in isolation; users will compare images in a sequence to identify changes between images, before and after the assembly task, to understand required actions and resultant state. In order to do this successfully they need to know the order of the images/steps.
  • Reading images in sequence is a culturally learnt skill and it should not be assumed people will read image sequences according to the cultural norm of the author. In Western countries this is left to right top to bottom, but people from other cultures will not necessarily do this.


Images must be clearly numbered in a consistent and prominent location that does not interfere with the images. Western style numbering is well understood in many cultures, but may need to be changed in some cross cultural settings.

Each image needs to be distinct and perceived as separate from the images for the preceding and following steps.

Gestalt principles for arranging images should be referred to, so that elements such as the sequence number and the image it refers to are perceived as related.


Heiser & Tversky, (2003)

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Related Patterns:



For the action/state pairs to be understood they need to be read in the correct sequence.


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