Thursday, February 09, 2006


Get Stock Icons for Digital Professionals at IconBuffet. Wait, actually, please don't.

I don't know if I'm exceptional here, but I have a really hard time deciphering what many of the little icons used in applications and websites actually mean. I have grown accustomed to the near universal use of the blank sheet of paper to mean something like "create new document". But in Microsoft Word, the blank sheet with a magnifying glass on it means "print preview". WTF. Why doesn't it mean View Zoom?

Consider [Windows] XP Style Icons at Their E-mail Application Icon Set (regular $249, on sale for $77) taught me that an envelope with an explosion on it means "Mail Blaster": Email Blaster! Now all I have to do is figure out what the hell "Mail Blaster" means. Also, an envelope with its right side made out of metal means "Edit mail": Edit Email Finally, envelopes floating in a transparent vat of water mean "Bulk mail": Bulk Email

The icons used at ebay are so intuitive that they produce multiple glossaries to explain them: Icon Glossary for Listings, and Icon Glossary for My eBay. From the latter we learn that a green guy riding on a blue guy's back means "Second Chance Offer": Second Chance Offer

It all makes sense now, I take it back, icons are great.