In interface design, a good icon creates a link between users and components being displayed, and a successful icon makes that link unbreakable. The question of how to create a successful icon design is actually how to create unbreakable links.
“It doesn’t matter if the feature an icon represents is immediately and intuitively obvious; what matters is that once you’ve made the link in your head — once you’ve learned what an icon does — some quality of the icon makes that link unbreakable.” — Susan Kare
When icons are for information, make sure they are giving users what they want, in a clear and simple form. For example, the green and red lights at a junction clearly tells drivers and pedestrians whether they can proceed or not. Similarly, the view icons in Steam indicate three different formats to display information for user’s selection. Moreover, the current selection is highlighted in a bright blue color for indication. …