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I've got two buttons the user will click to indicate whether a stimulus is the same or different

Currently I'm using = (U+003D) and ≠ (U+2260, = with a diagonal line through it).

Is there a more universal icons/symbol for that?

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Who's your audience? There are mathematical symbols you could use, but I suspect your design will need to educate people about what each symbol means (e.g. having the symbol next to the word, and having a tooltip on the symbol). –  Peter Aug 30 '13 at 21:27
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While it certainly depends on context, note that 'equals' doesn't always mean 'the same'. If you are OK with icons, off the top of my head: 2 circles same color (= same); 1 circle, 1 square, different colors (= different) –  DA01 Aug 30 '13 at 21:44
    
from a programmers point of view how about == for SAME and != for DIFFERENT –  Linger Aug 31 '13 at 5:23
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Actually from a programmer's point of view, === means same. Two equals signs simply tests equality of value, not identity. (Of course, some languages confuse the two concepts) –  Andrew Leach Aug 31 '13 at 6:03
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@AndrewLeach: that is very much language specific –  Marjan Venema Aug 31 '13 at 11:06

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm convinced these are the only universal symbols. There are no other similar symbols in Unicode. I.e. any other symbol with the same meaning is so obscure that it doesn't even occur in Unicode. There is (U+2261) identical and (U+2262) not identical, but those are understood to be variants of = and ≠.

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