THIS THESIS IS IN THE EXAMINATION PROCESS The ability to locate symbols on a visual display forms an integral part of the effective use of AAC systems. Characteristics of display design and perceptual features of symbols have been shown to influence rate and accuracy of symbol location (Thistle&Wilkinson, 2009; Wilkinson, Carlin,&Jagaroo, 2006). The current study endeavoured to compare the use of two colour-coded organisational strategies (alphabetical order and subcategorisation) for their effectiveness in symbol location and to investigate if some bottom-up features influenced the performance of the participants in these tasks. 114 learners in Grade 1 to 3 in a mainstream school were randomly divided into two groups. Both of the groups were exposed to two visual search tests in alternating order. The tests involved searching for 36 visual targets amongst 81 coloured Picture Communication Symbols on a computer screen in one of two colour-coded organizational methods, namely alphabetical order or subcategorisation. The data from the research task was collected through computer logging of all mouse selections. Findings showed that locating symbols on a computer screen with a subcategorisation strategy was significantly faster and more accurate than with an alphabetical strategy for the Grade 1 to 3 participants. The differences between the rates and accuracy of target symbol location using the two strategies decreased significantly as grade increased. It was also found that although the tests in this study placed heavy top-down processing demands on the participants, there was still evidence of bottom-up factors influencing their performance. Implications for display design in AAC clinical practice were discussed.