[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: noicon.xpm?

On la, 2003-05-10 at 03:04, Gustavo Noronha Silva wrote:
> I think that's a good idea. All menu items should have icons, IMO, not
> having one feels wrong to me.

I'm of the opposite opinion: if the application has no icon, adding a
generic one unrelated to what the application does is a bad idea.

The point of an icon is to be a visual symbol for the application. It
can either be something custom designed for the application, or
something generic related to what the application does. A custom icon,
when used systematically, builds on the human brain's pattern
recognition abilities (we're really good at pattern recognition), and
makes it possible to instantly and instinctively recognize the
application in question in a menu (after some experience, of course).

A generic task related icon, such as a terminal for terminal emulators,
builds on pattern recognition. If all terminals emulators have similar
icons, then it's easy to recognize them as terminal emulators.

An icon that only says "this application doesn't have an icon of its
own" doesn't help the user at all. It doesn't help the user visually
find the application in a menu, since the same icon is used for many
unrelated items. What it does do is add to the visual clutter in a menu,
which makes things worse, rather than better, and makes pattern
recognition harder.

Enemies of Carlotta 1.0 mailing list manager: http://liw.iki.fi/liw/eoc/

Reply to: