Easy symbols

Symbols are very important in user interfaces. Due to space constraints, the designer often needs to represent concepts with symbols. They usually act as visual or auditive shortcuts (I have a funny anecdote about an exclusively auditive interface, that I will soon talk about in a future post.)

Recently, I had to work on the conception and the development of a large software project with a very significant user interface containg a lot of forms and panels. In order to improve the usability of the system, I decided that I would need a nice but simple icon library to decorate the interface.

Being not a graphic designer, I have found a simple way to quickly create such an icon library.

1. Get a basic and sober icon frame. You can find plenty of them for free on Internet.

2. Open the frame image in your favorite image processor.

3. Add a new layer above the frame, then write a character with any symbolic font such as Webdings or Wingdings.

4. Add a shadow or some other effect. Et voilĂ  ! In less than 10 minutes, you get a nice set of icons you can extend and vary ad infinitum.

1 comment:

Alek Davis said...

That's a pretty nice and simple trick. Thank you.