KDE Visual Design Group/Icon HIG cleaning

Icon HIG Cleaning project

The goal of this project is to provide clearer and stricter HIG's for icons as well as improve icons that we currently have through user testing proven to be difficult to read as symbols.

Problem Background

Plasma icons are often overused by those who go through the visuals available in applications like Cuttlefish, and select an icon and hard link to them. Other issues involve some appdevs who ship their own icons. Both of these methods will cause breakage because they depend on sources that may change over time.

This happens when the icon theme is changed - meaning the hard link will point to an icon which has nothing to do with the action they want to illustrate through an icon or that the shipped icons will simply destroy the theme and visual consistency.

A second problem deals with readability. Specifically in applications like Kmail where the icons for "Read Email" show the symbol that is needed ("this is already read") to be displayed in a tiny unclear format and the icon it is connected to ("This is an email") is given huge center position in comparison to the relevant information.

Goal of the Project

To have a clear set of HIG's with examples and definitions of goals for each icon set. To improve our current icon theme and do it in a structured and safe way to avoid the problem with breaking design. A third goal is to try to get others involved in icon design - and provide a nice obvious way to participate with the VDG.

Work Structure

First we will see which icons have proven to be complex to read, compare them with the HIG, rework icons as needed, rewrite the HIG to provide stricter and clearer guidelines for icon designers who would want to contribute. This work will be guided by Andreas Kainz, the icon maintainer, as his work is directly hingent on clear guidelines and simple ways to provide icons.

Problem 1: Unclear Email Icons

The main issue with the email icons is that they are in their current state, unclear to the user.

[Image of Email Icons]

The main problem here is the size of elements - and an unclear message. The email is irrelevant in comparison with the exclamation mark for example. The user understands that she is in an email application, what she needs to know is what in the email application just happened. It is a breakage from the goal of a typographical rule set where the hierarchy of information must be key. The relevant information must be the biggest.

Communication Channels for Icon HIG Cleaning

[Link to IRC] [Link to Email List] [Link to Telegram Group] [Link to Forum Thread]


This page was last edited on 6 August 2017, at 16:30. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.
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