The design of user interfaces and as well as design of icons is not an easy job. Often in the best intention designers create interfaces that tend to the abstract art. Such poorly performed interfaces cause loss of end users, even in high-quality applications. In order to deal with the problem of the correct use and design of icons we present you an top 5 icon sets for download. The icons are essential for any project whether it is web or making some infographics. We hope that this article as well as icon sets will be useful for you.
What is an icon?
In computer jargon icon is a picture on the screen that represents the specific file, directory, window, option, program, or anything else that can be represented in graphical form. Icons are graphic metaphors and represent a visual image that a user associated with a particular meaning.
Try to count the icons that appear on your screen (of course if you are using a system that has a graphical interface). The mere presence of an icon in today’s user interface speaks to the importance of working with high-quality icons. By quality we mean the icons that clearly suggest the default meaning.
Why use icons?
Icon usability in the user interface goes far beyond word usability.
Here are some reasons why:
- When the user requests speed and efficiency, well-designed icons allow understanding of their meaning in one view, thus it resolves the need for reading and analysis of the meaning of the text.
- The words and the natural language is not suitable to describe the visual images and spatial relationships. Many professions like engineers, scientists, architects, designers deal with and think in visual terms.
- The icon with its size saves valuable space on the screen. Text equivalents are significantly more demanding in terms of occupied space.
- Icon, unlike the words can be very easily singled out from a pile of icons eg. To its shape or color.
- We recognize icons immediately, it is not necessary to read in order to understand what each icon represents
- Icon is easy to remember
- The user does not need to know how to read in order to use interface.
- Consistent use of icons in the interface leads to the standardization of interfaces
Misconceptions about the icons
Everyone has an opinion on the use of icons, but many people have misconceptions about what icon should be. To break some misconceptions about the icons here are a few common.
Icons completely replace words
WRONG: If you use the icons in the interface is not necessary nor desirable to use the words.
CORRECT: This approach fails to take advantage of best of both words and icons. Words help the user to initially connect the meaning of individual icons.
Icons are not any better than text interfaces
WRONG: Working with interface based on icons is inefficient and awkward.
CORRECT: Even though this debate is much more complex, we’ll simplify it all in one argument. Leave decision to users, offering them both modes and let them choose the way that suits them.
Icons make the product easier to use
WRONG: In order to simplify the product all you need to do is replace commands and menus with icons.
CORRECT: Icons do not make the product better or easier, this is achieved by good design.
Icons must be perfectly obvious
WRONG: Every icon that is not immediately obvious to everyone, should be excluded from use.
CORRECT: The first recognition oficons requires defined time of each user, but that time is not decisive, what is more important is the time it takes the user to re-recognition icons.
Icons are images
WRONG: The best icons are less realistic pictures or illustrations.
CORRECT: Icons are not images because they do not use it to identify how something looks. In fact, user has to look up close every icon to recognize them, they lose their function.
The icon design is pure art
WRONG: The icon design is a form of self-expression.
CORRECT: Nobody recommends the use of ugly icons if nice works just as well, however, if the function is ignored and icons are used as décor, users can be frustrated.
Below you can check our top 5 icon sets for download:
This set of icons comes in both Thin Line and Bold Line versions. With two different icon styles, you are basically getting over 4440 icons. Scale the vector icons to whatever size you need without loss of quality. Preview and download here.
Real Estate and Business, SEO Services and Marketing Icons Includes 2 icon sets: Real Estate Icon set (Properties, Real Estate Agency Services, Search for Home, Apartment, Villa or Shop) and Business Services icon set (Growth Business, Management, Consultancy, SEO, Marketing, Web Design Services, Coding). Preview and download here.
This package contains 840 Contact & Social Media Flat Icons. You can use for Website design, UI design, and more. Preview and download here.
750 different icon styles that contains as flat, long shadow, and more. All of each flat icons are fully editable, change colors easily, and more benefits from this Icon set. You can use for Website design, UI design, and more. Preview and download here.
This pack contains 1176 high quality Flat icons ready to be used in your Printing, Info-graphics, Web-designing, Mobile Apps, PowerPoint and Keynote business presentations etc. Formats available .ai, eps, psd, jpg and .png. Features: Highly detailed vector flat icons with long shadow Fully Scalable and editable vector shapes Ready to use transparent PNG files. Preview and download here.