Abstract The influence of phase transformation-induced plastic deformation in Pd|H system on the electrode surface was investigated. Since the Pd surface is subject of severe plastic deformation during this process, the structure and roughness of the electrode surface significantly change. Quantitative analysis of the electrode surfaces for comparative study of such changes is a valuable tool to inspect the plastic deformation induced. Fractal dimension can be used as a quantitative measure for this purpose. Since inappropriate methods may lead to significant errors, an appropriate approach was proposed for the determination of fractal dimensions in such systems. It was demonstrated that the surface roughness generated is mainly due to the plastic deformation induced, not the other side processes, as the electrodes were coated with a uniform layer of gold with thickness smaller than 10 nm. Since plastic deformation is due to hydrogen insertion/extraction and occurs in atomic-scale, it is necessary to divide structural changes appeared in nano- and micro-scale.