Look Out for Icons

It drew my eye. I saw the ball blast off the bat traveling over 100 mph. As it arced toward the Green Monster at Fenway I KNEW it was coming to me. I reached out my hand but it bounced off of the wall and fell to the grass. It was a double, not a home run. Disappointing, but still it drew my eye.

Icons demand attention because they’re visually appealing and they’re an efficient way of communicating. They have ability to convey complex concepts in a single glance.

One of the assignments DesignLab had me complete this week was to see what icons there were in the “real world”. I was instructed to take pictures of these icons, sketch them, and describe what they represented. Here are a couple of the examples I like the best.

I found this icon on a Saudi Arabian Electric Company box. It was right on the sidewalk with no protection around it but I suppose they got their point across!

I found this icon spray painted (badly) on a huge dumpster. I’m not sure it was necessary because it was obvious the container was a dumpster.

According to KISSMetrics, 40% of people will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. More striking, a one second delay in load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. ONE SECOND! That’s crazy!

Our attention spans is decreasing. This is especially prevalent on the web. Icons help direct our eyes to important information and allow us to digest that data quickly. There’s that saying that goes, a picture’s worth a thousand words. A vector image might not be worth that many, but on a website it’s worth more than the words to explain it’s meaning.