Web icons exist everywhere we go. Some are so strong and widespread that we identify them without saying anything as representing a brand, product, or message. On a more personal level, symbols such as emojis may transmit emotions and meaning from one person to another. In certain situations, people use emoticons rather than words to send their messages.
Derived from the Greek language “eikn” meaning picture, icons are one of the most commonly used graphic components in the current digital age. Throughout history, icons have functioned as significant points of various information, and there have been considerable studies on the role of iconography in various human civilizations. Do you remember those pictures made by cavemen in their cave? Yes, that, too, is considered as icons.
When used appropriately, icons may increase usability, make things easier to remember, and enhance the aesthetics of websites or applications. On the other hand, icons used wrongly might confuse and severely damage the user’s navigability.
Whether you’re a visual designer, UI designer, or simply someone curious about how icon works and why it is essential in our day to day lives, here are some reasons why it’s important always to get your icon right!
Icons help to describe functions
With too much text, users may become bored or lose concentration, and they may pass over the message entirely. As a consequence, utilizing symbols to express these activities and qualities might be more successful. They provide variety to the section, but they also reinforce the concept with a visual explanation. It simplifies the user’s understanding of the provided qualities.
Icons optimize your website or app navigation
Icons may be used as distinguishing features in website navigation, such as making it simpler to discover and follow specific content around the site. For example, suppose your company sells five distinct items, each represented by a different symbol on the webpage. It will be much easier for the user to grasp the service into which they are venturing.
Icons convey a story
Because icons can graphically represent each phase, they are frequently utilized while discussing a process. They aid in the visual comprehension of each stage of a process and the visual separation and understanding of the items included inside them.
Icons enhance readability
Instead of using standard bullet points or numbers that can come off as boring, you can enhance the readability of your site or app using icons. Use unique symbols to draw attention to paragraphs and other blocks of information. However, please don’t go overboard, as an overabundance of icons can be confusing and unhelpful when it comes to reading.
Tips for picking the right icons
Now that you know the benefits of web icons and how it plays a huge role in determining your web or app user interface and interaction with users, here are some foolproof tips for picking the right font that benefits instead of obstructing your users’ journeys!
Keep it simple and basic
Most of the time, icons aren’t the place to be extra creative and flashy. If you have a choice between two icons, go with the simpler one.
When creating a new icon, keep visual detail to a minimum and avoid too realistic images by focusing on the object’s essential features. Fewer visual elements aid recognition, and having a hyperrealistic icon will only disturb your user during their navigation process.
A user’s understanding of a sign is heavily dependent on their previous experience. If you want to include icons in your interface, familiarize yourself with your competitors’ icons as well as the web or platform you plan to target. This way, your users won’t have to familiarize themselves with your interface design, and the navigation will feel natural to them.
Always prioritize usability
Icons must help the user navigate the page. We are accustomed to acquiring things easily, and if we face something difficult, we do not even attempt it. As a result, site designs must emphasize usability and enhance user experience.
Now that you know the importance of web icons and how it determines your users’ experience with your web or app, you can design a more user-friendly interface in your future project. Don’t forget to check out our elements library to find the best icons in store!