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No joke, I’m going on Etsy each single day. I browse Instagram as a lot as another individual, however when that turns into tiresome, I open up Etsy to casually scroll. I feel what makes me come again to it repeatedly, with out being triggered by a notification or alert, is that there’s a mixture of discovering what I’m in search of and being shocked and delighted with issues I wasn’t anticipating.
Nir Eyal talks concerning the significance of the shock and delight mannequin (as associated to Pinterest) in his ebook ‘Hooked.’ When customers get one thing further out of an expertise that they weren’t anticipating, they arrive again for extra.
That’s how I really feel about Etsy. I’ll begin by casually shopping for handmade ceramic mugs, and immediately discover myself in an superior classic sweatshirt store. It’s at all times enjoyable, and the expertise feels seamless.
However the level of this publish isn’t to delve into Eyal’s mannequin for stellar product design, or the enjoyable of buying do-it-yourself trinkets while you’re bored, this publish is about iconography
Icons have been round eternally. In response to some sources, Saint Luke the Evangelist created an icon of the Virgin Mary and popped it on a panel for folks to hold round with them. Cavemen and Egyptians used them too. Icons have been a simple method to talk with these round them and created a shared written language for folks to make use of.
These days, icons are arguably extra necessary than ever as we proceed to push the boundaries in digital design. We’re trending towards minimalist designs that function excessive quantities of whitespace, in addition to usable merchandise that sit on tiny screens like Apple Watches. We don’t have area for tons of textual content, so as a substitute, we depend on icons to convey what we would like customers to do, do it, and when.
So what does Esty do properly with their icons?
- They embrace textual content labels. A coronary heart can imply so many issues…like, favourite, love, and so forth. Etsy makes it clear that hearts imply favorites on their web site, so the consumer doesn’t need to piece that collectively by means of trial and error.
- They alter the state relying on the place the consumer is within the circulate. On iOS, the icon turns into a strong form when the consumer has pressed it. While you’re on the house display screen, the house icon is black, and while you’re in your profile, the profile icon is black. This provides the consumer tactile suggestions that they’ve decided and accomplished a process. It helps reinforce the habits related to utilizing that icon.
- Their icons are easy. No loopy particulars, intense drop shadows, wild colours, or extravagant animations. The main target is on aiding the consumer in finishing the duty, not distracting them with fluff that doesn’t assist them.
- They play off standard shapes. The cart icon seems like a grocery cart, the profile icon like a head and physique, and the house like somewhat home. These usually are not solely reflecting real-life objects, however extra importantly, the icons customers see in different apps and websites they go to each day. This takes the burden off of the consumer in studying a brand new design system and helps them upskill shortly.
So what does that imply for the remainder of us?
- Embody textual content labels. Your interface could not look as glossy and clear because it might, however it will likely be approach simpler for the consumer to interact with. Ultimately, you’ll be able to pull an Instagram and section out textual content as soon as customers are absolutely accustomed to how issues work.
- Hold it easy. Some individuals are saying that skeuomorphism is again, and I don’t actually know if I agree with that. I feel a really muted model of skeuomorphism is again…extra like skeuflat or flatmorphism if something. Overcomplicating icons with hyper-realistic shading, coloration schemes, and highlights simply makes them more durable to see clearly (notably from an accessibility POV).
- Scale back, reuse, recycle. Icons aren’t the time to get wild and loopy with model new issues nobody has ever seen earlier than. More often than not, it’s greatest to make use of symbols that customers see elsewhere and really feel snug with.
This text was initially printed on UX Collective by Cara Lamason, a San Francisco based mostly product designer captivated with creating data-driven experiences that make life simpler. You’ll be able to learn the unique article here.