Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Jan 2013 00:46 UTC, submitted by the_randymon
Graphics, User Interfaces "A statistical analysis shows that icons with less detail score better in terms of usability. It seems to be an easy truth: too much detail in icons confuses the users. So we wondered whether we could find any evidence for this truth in the data of our large scale test of the LibreOffice Icons."
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No surprise.
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 17th Jan 2013 00:54 UTC
Member since:

I would say that, on the other hand, bland icons with too little detail are just as bad.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No surprise.
by Morgan on Thu 17th Jan 2013 01:17 in reply to "No surprise."
Morgan Member since:

I don't know, I've seen some minimalistic line-art icons that popped and were crystal clear in meaning, yet were nothing more than monochrome lines on a consistent background, elegant in their simplicity.

Like the meaning of the word itself, an icon must accurately represent its subject. There is simply no excuse for a visually appealing yet confusing icon.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: No surprise.
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 17th Jan 2013 02:16 in reply to "RE: No surprise."
UltraZelda64 Member since:

My biggest problem, I think, is confusingly-similar icons (along with blandness).

For example--on my phone, the cell signal and "Wi-Fi On" indicators are just bars, increasing with size. Well, the Wi-Fi icon is a dumb indicator, it doesn't actually change; it's either off or on, but it looks similar. On a PC, the wireless network/Wi-Fi indicator looks pretty much the same; increasing numbers and sizes of bars for better signals.

Oh, and the traditional volume icon? Well... it used to look distinctly like a speaker with sound waves of increasing sizes coming out, but now that modern operating systems and desktop environments are "simplifying" that icon, it looks pretty indistinguishable to the others. And battery power? Heh, even that is often indicated by the same style of increasing-size-bars icon, as it traditionally was before all the wireless stuff came out.

I'm running KDE right now and its "Notifications" and "Desktop Search File Indexing" files are incredibly bad. The notifications icon is just a lowercase "i" and I don't even know what the other is supposed to be. And KDE's two-dimensional monochrome volume icon is so bland it barely even looks like a speaker.

Edited 2013-01-17 02:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: No surprise.
by WereCatf on Thu 17th Jan 2013 08:31 in reply to "No surprise."
WereCatf Member since:

I would say that, on the other hand, bland icons with too little detail are just as bad.

Being bland kind of already says it ain't got enough flair. I've preferred simple, clean icons and user-interfaces for a long, long time, and some of my favorite icon sets of the moment are the Sticker - ones by David Lanham -- see e.g. -- and Stylistica - icons at .

The sticker-like icons are colourful, yet they don't actually sport all that many details, and they scale well both for high and low resolutions. Similarly, the Stylistica - icons scale well both for high and low resolutions, lack any unnecessary details, but unlike the sticker-like icons they don't use colours.

Reply Parent Score: 2