I have a love/hate relationship with icons. As a designer, I love nice clean little icons that help the user navigate. The problem lies in creating an icon that is so obvious to everyone as to what it is, that there won’t be any confusion as to where it takes them. For example, we want to have a login link to our portal. What icon represents this to everyone? Bueller? Bueller?

One of the limitations of mobile, is the loss of the hover ability that designers have relied on heavily for years on the desktop layouts. On the desktop, if the user is confused about the icon, they can hover their mouse over it and a tooltip can appear to let them know what it is for. We lose that hinting ability in mobile. The user can tap and go, but at that point it’s too late.

So if we want our site to be as usable as possible (AND WE DO), most icons are going to fall by the wayside.

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