Icons often play an integral role in modern computer interfaces. With the rise of mobile devices and the responsive web, designers of interfaces are using icons more and more to convey important pieces of information to users. But poor use of icons and poor icons can have a negative impact on user experience.
I will present a study of icons commonly found in mobile operating systems. The study demonstrates the characteristics of effective icons and how these characteristics relate to icon comprehension and a user's ability to interpret the icon function relationship. Drawing on existing research in the area, I will show a schema for icon characteristics and how these interplay with the icon's ability to convey meaning. In addition, I will draw on real-world examples of both effective and ineffective icon use.
The session will give designers of icons and those who specify icons for interfaces practical advice on icon choice, a framework for evaluating the potential effectiveness of an icon and tips for testing icons.