[Phpwm] Icons

Phil Beynon phil at infolinkelectronics.co.uk
Tue Mar 13 09:58:38 GMT 2007

> > Just wondered what other people do for this sort of thing - Keep it a
> > bit utilitarian but highly functional or prettify it and slow
> it all down
> a
> > bit?
> Slowing it down is a red herring; bandwidth is cheap.

That perhaps wasnt a good way of expressing what i meant!

> Whilst I am most certainly not an information or interface designer as a
> blanket summation I'd say that where I've seen icons for menu
> items then the
> first few - at best - work well and then after that it seems that the rest
> have been shoe-horned to fit something that only the developer could see
> made any sense.

This is really the line that I didnt want to cross, I've used icons for some
self explanatory things like text justification, superscript text and the
like in the input GUI, and tabs for the asset manager control, plus open all
/ close all in the tree menu - essentially windows / office like standard
icons which people should understand quite easily, but the area which
controls what they want to subsequently do with a record just doesnt seem to
lend itself to icons that are going to mean anything useful.

> The worst case of something like this is the *spit* php-nuke type summary
> admin screen with a bucket load of icons which apparently mean something,
> but only if you sit down and try to figure it out; it's like icon soup.
> I take the tool tip 'title' point, but still it makes me think and when
> using the interface that's bad.

It also means little distracting things are popping ope and closed on the
screen all the time!

> As Rob says, text all the way. The good designers I've worked with use
> graphical elements elsewhere; menu items are descriptive and don't use
> arbitrary images. Where images are used in the interface (e.g. a trashcan
> for delete, an arrow for next) then it is blatantly obvious what their
> purpose is.



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