Icon only actions are another commonly used pattern that makes the user think, and a rule of thumb for a good user experience is not to make them think. It cognitively loads the user to remember what each icons mean and where they are located.
Designing better tables for enterprise applications

I’m kind of questioning this statement when it comes to the interfaces that are being used on a daily basis. It’s not that hard for the user to remember the underlying actions once and for all, while the benefits of having an uncluttered interface outweigh this learning “hurdle”, don’t you think?

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