Widgit Symbols Development Project
Aims of the Project
One of the principal features of the symbols developed through
Widgit Software, has been their suitability for supporting literacy.
The increase in this type of symbol use has demanded a more rigorous
design and structure to the set. This project set out to develop a clearer
foundation to the current vocabulary and to improve the quality of drawing.
The aims of the Widgit Symbol Development Project were to:
- create a more consistent symbol set
- reduce unnecessary visual clutter
- provide a logical structure to the symbol schema
- have symbols that would meet a greater linguistic needs
- be extendable
- be appropriate for both direct and written communication
The need for consistency of symbols and their extension for literacy
The increase in symbol use is leading to demands for much larger vocabularies.
To date the vocabulary as developed in a somewhat ad hoc manner. The
original set has an underlying set of schema. These were published in
the first edition of Literacy Through Symbols (Detheridge and Detheridge
1977, published by David Fulton Publishers). Not all symbols developed
adhered to these conventions, and the range of schema and conventions
Where element are using in several symbols, it is necessary to ensure
that these elements are drawn and used consistently.
Some symbol represent quite complex concepts and on occasion the symbols
have themselves become visually complex. The guidelines have been strengthened
to suggest that all unnecessary content is removed in the interests
of visual simplicity.
Individual users and groups will increasingly wish to add to the symbol
set to meet new or individual needs. It was therefore agreed that the
publication of the definitions and guidance would facilitate new developments
within an agreed style.
Very illustrative symbols available are particularly suited to use
in communication books and for direct selection in conversation or other
face-to-face communication. Symbols used in grammatical structures are
required to be simpler, with each symbol representing only a single
concept. By restricting the symbols to single concept representation
they can be suitable for both direct and indirect communication.