Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Feb 2008 20:53 UTC, submitted by Adam S
Graphics, User Interfaces "It is much easier to criticize somebody else's work than to create something cool yourself. But if you apply a systematic approach to criticizing, make a numbered list and prepare illustrations, it will be regarded as a fully-fledged analysis! In my opinion, icon design is undergoing a transitional period. On the one hand, screen resolutions are increasing, hence enhancing icons. On the other hand, we still have good old pixels. Icons sized 16x16 and even smaller are still widely used. And so, here are the most commonly observed mistakes in icon design."
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The worst icon
by Glynser on Fri 15th Feb 2008 21:32 UTC
Glynser
Member since:
2007-11-29

Have a look at this great page:
http://www.guidebookgallery.org/icons/components

There you'll see the emerging Windows icons... and in my opinion, all the XP icons got worse - especially the "keyboard icon". How can THIS ugly blurry mess be identified as a keyboard?

I know that many people like the blurry stuff because they think it's more smoooooooth and so on, but the truth is that black outlines and clear colors actually give you the idea of what it might be. As soon as it's blurry, you can forget it, at least in 32x32 or even 16x16 size.

Another great example is the "My Computer" icon. Look how pretty the 95 and 98 versions looked like. Clear and distinguishable. The XP version looks like crap.

The only icon that really got better is the "shut down" icon. Everyone knows what it means. I don't agree on the rubbery overall looks, but that's a matter of taste. At least they got the meaning right.

As for icon sets, I think the Gnome set is clearly one of the best. I'm not a Linux maniac, but I think they actually do a good compromise on outline vs. blur (though I personall still prefer Win 95/98 style).

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